Collaborating Authors

New Zealand

Enabling the Return To Work initiative using SAP Conversational AI & Qualtrics


As many parts of the world continue to remain in lockdown due to the global pandemic, many countries have started to ease the restrictions. Particularly in Australia & New Zealand, schools have reopened, workers are heading back to their offices, and restaurants & retail stores are beginning to resume trade with new set of guidelines. These guidelines might also vary from one state to another and hence businesses that operate and have offices in different states, need to provide relevant updates to their employees to be able to comply with the new regulations. The most common practice from employers is to send out regular emails outlining the guidelines. Chatbots are beginning to play a vital role in providing real-time upto date information.

Boston Dynamics 'Spot' Robot Dogs deployed to New Zealand. -- NEWZEALAND.AI


What could your company achieve with the worlds most advanced robot dog working for you? One of New Zealand's leading Artificial Intelligence development companies, AwareGroup has secured a partnership deal with the operations arm of Boston Dynamics. Rocos Robotics Platform and AwareGroup will work together to provide five New Zealand companies with the opportunity to develop and deploy SPOT robots for any number of practical use-cases. Inspect progress on construction sites, create digital twins, and identify hazards. Remotely inspect and identify supporting awareness and operations.

Animals evolved 'extreme weapons' through duels, scientists say after forcing artificial intelligence to fight each other

The Independent - Tech

Simulated warfare between artificial intelligence participants has revealed that "extraordinary forms" of extreme weaponry evolve when combatants fight each other in one-to-one in duels. Researchers at the University of Auckland in New Zealand pitted AI players against each other in a war game to better understand how animals evolve weapons. They found that combatants with improved weapons had a large advantage when fighting in duels, but that this advantage deteriorated when there were more rivals to fight against. The findings suggest that arms races between animals and in other types of conflict are more likely to be accelerated when there are only two opponents. The study was based on a current evolutionary hypothesis that predicts the evolution of elaborate weaponry in duel-based systems, such as the exaggerated horns wielded by male dung beetles and stag deer when fighting over females.

Meet 'Tala' the articial intelligence agent that speaks Samoan


An artificial intelligence agent named Tala may open the door on a new way of gathering feedback from New Zealand's Samoan community. The Talanoa Project is a pilot project that uses IBM's artificial intelligence virtual agent solution, Watson, to interact in real time in Samoan for public consultation and community engagement. Developed and designed by Beca, business director Matthew Ensor said it was about consulting with'the silent majority' in the public on projects and community facilities. "We don't hear so much from the people where language is a barrier, where culturally there's no tradition of responding to public consultation. "We then created a conversational agent, it's like a chat-bot and what it does is it mimics the kind of conversation that you would have with a consultation expert," Mr Ensor said. "It will ask open questions about your thoughts on different things and really lets the person lead the conversation rather than a survey form where the questions are completely scripted." Steve O'Donnell from IBM New Zealand's Managing Partner for Global Business Services said this was the first time IBM Watson Assistant had been used for public consultation in New Zealand in a language other than English. "What we are seeing now is AI being able to scale down, and drive value in many industries," he said. "IBM Watson has already transformed the world of customer service, due largely to its ability to understand human sentiment and interact naturally with people and Tala is a promising first step towards that." The Talanoa Project, part funded by Callaghan Innovation, tested Tala among a few dozen Samoan speakers, asking them for their thoughts on their local community facilities. The focus group of Samoans ranged from 19-years of age to 77 being the oldest and included Samoan elders, law students, psychologists and sociologists. "It was overwhelmingly positive the response we got back from the Samoan community," Mr Ensor said. "We had a few people share that it was great to hear technology using their native language.

See Boston Dynamics' robodog herd sheep and explore in New Zealand


Spot, the robotic "dog" design from Boston Dynamics, has had a busy pandemic, between counseling patients and enforcing social distancing guidelines. Now, a new partnership with a New Zealand robotics firm is setting up the four-legged automaton for a new line of work: farming. Technically, the partnership is much bigger than that. Rocos specializes in the remote monitoring and operation of robot fleets. By working together, the capabilities of Boston Dynamics robots like Spot will expand thanks to human operators who can manage their performance from a great distance.

Robot sheep dog herds animals in New Zealand

The Independent - Tech

Farmers in New Zealand have used a four-legged robot to herd sheep, patrol fields and perform other agricultural tasks. The feats were carried out as part of a demonstration of Spot – a robotic dog developed by Massachusetts-based engineering firm Boston Dynamics. Equipped with software developed by robotics company Rocos, Spot was controlled remotely to shepherd sheep across a mountainside. "The age of autonomous robots is upon us," claimed Rocos chief executive David Inggs. "Our customers are augmenting their human workforces to automate physical processes that are often dull, dirty, or dangerous. Organisations can now design, schedule and manage inspection missions remotely."

How a robotic dog is herding sheep in New Zealand – video

The Guardian

The New Zealand software company Rocos is training a Boston Dynamics-designed robot called Spot to work on farms to help'relieve the strain of worker shortages, and create precision in farming'.

Video Shows Boston Dynamics' Robot Dog Herding Sheep And Checking Crops


Here's something you might not have expected to see Boston Dynamics' robot dog Spot doing any time soon: herding sheep on a rugged New Zealand mountainside. The slightly bizarre sequence is part of a promotional video demonstrating Spot's potential in the agricultural industry; it also includes footage of Spot checking on crops and clambering over rough terrain. The video was put together by robotics software firm Rocos, which is working with Boston Dynamics to explore how its collection of droids can be controlled remotely. The idea is that bots like Spot could be sent out on missions while a human operator sits on the other side of the world. For farmers, that could mean having a robot monitor fields around the clock, checking in on crop growth or fruit ripening, all while being remotely operated.

Robot dog tries to herd sheep


A robot dog designed for search and rescue missions has had a go at herding sheep in New Zealand.

Paw patrol! Footage shows Boston Dynamics' robot dog Spot herding sheep on a farm in New Zealand

Daily Mail - Science & tech

This is the moment a robotic dog tries its metal paws at herding unruly sheep on a farm in New Zealand. Spot gathered together the animals before pushing them through the field, with the help of two biological sheepdogs. Developed by Boston Dynamics, it can reach speeds of up to 3mph and costs less than a car, which average £30,000, to lease, according to reports. It has been heralded as the future of farming. The robot was seen helping the dogs to keep the sheep together.