Three university graduates have developed an innovative use for artificial intelligence, just as professional services are being made aware of the wide-ranging impacts such technology presents to their industries.
University of Newcastle graduates Sahil Harriram, Nathan Bartlett and Luke De Bono recently launched their company Elite Robotics, following their development of an autonomous lawnmower.
The device, called LUCi, uses artificial intelligence (AI) comprising guidance control, camera vision and ultrasonic radar to map out boundaries and obstructions – and even account for people and pets coming into its path – to keep lawns continually trimmed.
“Our secret sauce is the algorithms we use,” said Elite Robotics chief design officer Luke De Bono.
“LUCi has technology which allows it to avoid obstacles. It can predict the path of an object and has an inertia measurement module so when it gets to a certain angle it shuts itself off.
“We think there is massive potential for our lawnmower. The global market for mowing products is $38.1 billion, and Australia has about 8 per cent of this market. If we can attract just 1 per cent of the market, that would generate $61 million in revenue.”
A working prototype was created with the help of NSW government backing, including a $25,000 Minimum Viable Product grant.
It comes as HR thinktank Reventure said that professional services will soon see the effects of AI taking over repetitive tasks, which will have implications not just for productivity but even job hierarchies.
“The current pyramid structure of organisations is likely to face disruption because AI will begin taking over the repetitive, mundane tasks from everyone’s job,” Reventure’s lead researcher Dr Lindsay McMillan said.
Dr McMillan’s report, A Future that Works, noted that junior roles, such as associates and paralegals within the legal sector, may be replaced by automated programs for work that is generally unbillable to clients.