QUT bluebox Robotics Accelerator

Be part of the future

The accelerator gives you the chance to accelerate your own robotics idea or work with one of Australia’s leading technology commercialisation firms in concert with SoftBank Robotics Corp. on one of their platforms, plus connect with Robotics investors from all over the world. This is your chance to get on board the robotics revolution!

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QUT bluebox Softbank ST Solutions Advacne QLD

The Accelerator

The Robotics Accelerator is a three (3) month intensive startup development program designed to assist new robotics ventures in accelerating their entry into the marketplace. The Accelerator is run by QUT bluebox in partnership with Advance Queensland and ST Solution Australia (STSA), a subsidiary of the Softbank Corp.

There are four options you can apply for:

Own Hardware

Bring your own hardware and demonstrate how your robotics innovation can make a difference in the real world.


Create an application for Pepper, the humanoid robot that can be used in the real world.

Find out more about Pepper Robot


Utilise QZSS, a satelite system that has potential to increase GPS for a viable business.

Find out more about QZSS


Apply AGOOP floating population analytics software for a viable business.

Find out more about AGOOP

Participating teams gain access to:

  • world class robotics experts,
  • highly experienced industry mentors,
  • cutting edge entrepreneurship education
  • $15,000 in funding to bring your visions to reality
  • Winning teams will receive opportunity to fly to Japan/U.S

Last year’s winners

The teams pitched their startups and the top three team won funding and a trip to Japan to take part in the Pepper App challenge 2017!

The coding and robotics funding supports the government’s broad agenda for digital transformation in Queensland.


To be eligible you must:

  • Have own original idea.
  • Be able to attend at least 10 out of the 12 workshops from 18 July - 26 September 2018. Workshops will be held every Wednesday during the day.
  • If you are not using your own hardware, your idea must use one of the Softbank applications (Pepper, AGOOP or QZSS) in an innovative way (in any industry).
  • Must live in Queensland
  • Must be over 18 years of age.

2018 Finalists

Universal Field Robotics

Lead founder: Jeff Sterling

UFR is creating outdoor robots that can remove people from dangerous work locations such as underground mining and solar farm piling and help with labour shortages for food and other production.

Pictured: Tim Cassell, Hai Doan, Josh Owen


Lead founder: Byron Tik

Croomo is an eLearning company. Utilising their award-winning cloud based training platform Croomo aims to create a learning management system easily accessible via the Pepper humanoid robot platform.

Pictured: Byron Tik

Pepper for Conpago

Lead founder: Mackenzie Jackson

Conpago is an aged-care tech company that will use custom software with the Pepper humanoid robot to interact with elderly residents, family members and aged care providers.

Pictured: Mackenzie Jackson, Eline Achtenberg

Gizmo 3D Printers

Lead founder: Kobus du Toit

The GiziPro XL 3D printer is designed to mass manufacture quality 3D prints at break-through printing speeds. Starting with orthodontic practitioners, Gizmo 3D is looking to triple productivity and reduce expenses across a range of industries.

Pictured: Michelle du Toit, Kobus du Toit


Lead founder: Stuart Ianna

Understanding the movement of populations through public spaces can offer valuable insights in how to develop better customer experiences. Team 10 is applying the Agoop big data and predictive analytics program to population movements to provide advanced decision making information to public space managers.

Pictured: Stuart Ianna, Jade Newing, Cameron Carslake, Kiarna Broomhead


Founder: Dmitry Bratanov

Multicopter drones are becoming a key tool for modern businesses, but are limited by short flight times. DHybridCopter has developed a novel hybrid solution which enables industrial and consumer level electric drones to fly up to four times longer while providing increased tolerance to hardware failure.

Pictured: Dmitry Bratanov

Greet Robotics

Lead founder: Owen Beard

Travelling can be made smoother and more pleasant with the help of the Pepper humanoid robot as a robotic concierge in a range of applications. Greet Robotics is taking concierge services into the 21st century by using Pepper to directly aid customers and better understand their needs.

Pictured: Michael Swan, Owen Beard

Iridium Dynamics

Lead founder: Ian Conway Lamb

Iridium Dynamics is developing a fully automated solution for oil and gas pipeline inspection, using unmanned aerial vehicles and ground-based robotics. Automating this process lowers costs and increased health and safety.

Pictured: Ben Sheehan, Chris Conway Lamb, Ian Conway Lamb,

Cartman Technologies

Lead founder: Juxi Leitner

Cartman Technologies is developing robotics technologies that take the next step in automation, transitioning manufacturing robots from a structured environment, such as process factories to creating robots that can work in unstructured environments. Using advanced computer vision and robotics controls, Juxi is developing the next generation of autonomous robots.

Pictured: Norton Kelly-Boxall, Juxi Leitner

Micromelon Robotics

Lead founder: Tim Hadwen

Micromelon Robotics teaches line coding in schools by creating a platform that translates code to blocks and back again. Coupled with simple desktop robots, students can see both block code and real Python code on the fly, improving learning outcomes and enhancing the transition for students from block coding to line coding.

Pictured: Tim Hadwell, Iain Rudge, Adam Stacey

Information Sessions

  • Information session

    Find out about what accelerator offers and what opportunities are available and what software you can use.

  • Technology Workshop

    Get a hands-on workshop on the Softbank Software you can use, Pepper, QZSS, Agoop.

  • Application Workshop

    Ensure you have the best application with the application workshops, fine tune your value proposition

Information Session
Information Session 1

Tuesday May 1

QUT Gardens Point, D block Room 214

5:30PM-6:30PM Register to attend

Information Session 2

Wednesday May 2

Gold Coast

5:30PM-6:30PM Register to attend

Information Session 3

Thursday May 3

The Precinct, Level 2 Building/T.C. Beirne Building, 315 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley QLD

5:30PM-6:30PM Register to attend

Information Session 4

Tuesday May 8

QUT Gardens Point, D block Room 214

5:30PM-6:30PM Register to attend

Information Session 5

Wednesday May 9

Innovation Centre

5:30PM-6:30PM Register to attend

Information Session 6

Thursday May 10

The Precinct, Level 2 Building/T.C. Beirne Building, 315 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley QLD

5:30PM-6:30PM Register to attend

Information Session 7

Tuesday May 15

QUT Gardens Point, D block Room 214

5:30PM-6:30PM Register to attend

Technology Workshop
Technology Workshop 1

Wednesday May 23

The Precinct, Level 2 Building/T.C. Beirne Building, 315 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley QLD

5:30PM-6:30PM Register to attend

Technology Workshop 2

Wednesday May 30

The Precinct, Level 2 Building/T.C. Beirne Building, 315 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley QLD

5:30PM-6:30PM Register to attend

Application Workshop
Application Workshop 2

Wednesday June 13

QUT Gardens Point, D block Room 214

5:30PM-6:30PM Register to attend

Applications CLOSE

Sunday 08 July


Ideas Jam
Ideas Jam

Tuesday Jul 03

J Blaock, QUT Gardens Point Campus,

2:00PM-6:00PM Register to attend

Got more questions

Contact Us

Via email:

or book some time with our entrepreneurs in residence.

Yotem Rosenbaum

ICT Extrepreneur-in-Residence

Schedule meeting:


How do I apply?

To apply you must:

  1. Read and agree to the terms and conditions
  2. Submit your application

You will need to provide details about your startup, your team and upload a short (no more than three-minutes) video explaining your business.

You can be as creative with your pitch video as you wish.

Who is delivering the accelerator?

The QUT bluebox Robotics Accelerator is brought to you in partnership with Advance Queensland and ST Solutions Australia (STSA), a subsidiary of the SoftBank Corp, and delivered by QUT bluebox, QUT’s innovation company.

Last year we ran Australia’s first robotics dedicated accelerator which saw the successful teams fly to Japan to meet investors and take part in the Pepper challenge.

How do I find out more?

See the FAQ’s. We also have a range of workshops and information sessions from 23 April to 8 June 2018

Frequently Asked Questions



The Robotics Accelerator is a 3 month intensive development program designed to assist new robotics ventures in accelerating towards market entry. The Accelerator is being run by QUT bluebox in partnership with Advance Queensland and the Softbank Group.

Who are QUT bluebox, Advance Queensland and the Softbank Group?

QUT bluebox Pty Limited (QUT bluebox) is the innovation and investment transfer company for the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia. QUT bluebox is running the Robotics Accelerator and has co-funded the program.

Advance Queensland is a Queensland Government suite of programs designed to create the knowledge-based jobs of the future, drive productivity improvements and help position the state as an attractive investment destination with a strong innovation and entrepreneurial culture. Advance Queensland has co-funded the program.

The Softbank Group is a global telecommunications and technology corporation in 1981, and headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Softbank is a partner of the Accelerator program is making its humanoid robotics platform, ‘Pepper’ available as a development platform throughout the program. The local subsidiary of the SoftBank group, ST Solutions Australia, will be the main participant in the program.


The accelerator program involves working on your robotics accelerator over a three month period, including participating in educational sessions, mentoring and a program ending Demo Day. The program is designed to be flexible so that teams can commit full time, or part time based on other commitments, however funding is contingent upon teams attending 10 of the 12 accelerator days and the program ending Demo Day, as well as achieving reasonable levels of progress throughout the program.

The accelerator days are 9am to 5pm on all Wednesdays from 4th July through to Demo Day on 26th September.

Where will the Accelerator program be held?

The program will be split between QUT Gardens Point the Softbank Pepper Studio located in the Advance Queensland start-up Precinct in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.

What makes this program different?


This is Australia’s only accelerator program based purely on robotics applications. With a high degree of specialisation, teams will be able to work with similar start-ups, expert industry mentors and a program aimed solely at creating successful robotics start-ups. With the added benefit of a global multinational corporation in the form of the Softbank Group for Pepper orientated teams, there’s no better place to bring your robotics vision to life!


We provide access to guidance and mentorship from QUT bluebox, Softbank and industry leading experts. Their role is to support and challenge your team and you will be matched based on personality fit and development needs.


Start-ups receive a minimum of $15,000 of funding to participate in the program. This funding is equity free.

Sponsors and Partners

Teams will get access to QUT bluebox's extensive partner network and teams working with SoftBank technologies will be connected to Softbank.

Why should I apply?

This is a unique opportunity to work with one of Australia’s premier technology commercialisation companies, QUT bluebox, along with the program partners, Advance Queensland and the Softbank Group. QUT bluebox has run hardware focussed accelerators for the past four years, creating a range of successful start-ups now in the market. Combined with entrepreneurial education QUT, a sole focus on robotics start-ups and non-equity funding, the Robotics Accelerator program represents a unique opportunity for robotics start-ups to accelerator their development in the market.


As a member of the Accelerator, you will be expected to:

  • Attend scheduled education/workshop sessions and mentoring sessions,
  • Demonstrate regular progress in the development of your idea and your company,
  • Participate in the program ending Demo Day, showcasing your idea to government and industry,
  • Be a positive contributor to other teams and the program in general.

Do I need to quit my day job to participate in the accelerator?

It is not mandatory to be at the accelerator offices for the entire program; the team can choose to use the facilities or not. However, teams must attend a minimum of 10 of the 12 ‘accelerator days’ run on Wednesdays between 4th July and 19th September, as well as attending the program ending Demo Day on 26th September. Start-ups who choose to work out of the accelerator office locations can use them 24x7 and have access to that location’s onsite amenities, which can include free coffee, co-working space and more.


What are you looking for in a team?

We are looking for teams that have the range of skills required to build a successful start-up. In the case of robotics start-ups, this includes relevant technical and business skills. Teams that benefit from accelerator programs also tend to be customer focussed and coachable. Entry is competitive in nature, so being able to express a strong value proposition through the application of robotics technologies, with a strong team to take your idea to market will increase your chances of be awarded a place in the Accelerator program.

I’m a solo founder. Can I get accepted into the Accelerator program, or do you only look for teams?

While we don’t screen out applications just because they have a single founder, it does make things more difficult. We look for great, balanced teams who have a full range of skills. We strongly advise you to seek co-founders who balance your skillset. For example, if you’re a strong developer, you might consider adding someone with business and/or marketing experience. If you’re a great business evangelist with no developer, it’s very unlikely we’ll accept you into the program, so go find a developer to join you.

How many team places will be available in the program?

The program will admit up to 10 teams.

At what stage should the teams be?

Teams working on non-Pepper robotics should at least have a minimum viable product.

Teams entering based on the application of SoftBank technologies should have a well identified market problem and a concept for a potential application which solves that problem using that technology.

Do I need to be working on robotics to enter the program?

Yes. The Accelerator is exclusively focussed on start-ups looking to build new ventures around robotics. Any robotics start-up is welcome to apply.

In addition, the Softbank Group is making three technologies available for use in the program;

Technology For more information see
Pepper Humanoid Robot https://www.ald.softbankrobotics.com/en/robots/pepper
Agoop location based big data platform https://www.agoop.co.jp/en/
QZSS GPS technology http://qzss.go.jp/en/

For teams working with Pepper, work is restricted to development of software applications of the robot, which means if you are interested in working on this platform, you don’t need to undertake development of the physical robot itself. Six Pepper robots will be made available in the Softbank Pepper Studio to assist development work during the Accelerator program.

For teams working with Agoop, SoftBank will provide access to the relevant software development kits (SDK) and for QZSS, the SDK and the platform specific GPS receiver hardware.

I’m interested in the SoftBank technologies – how do I find out more?

There will be a number of sessions prior to the application close date to become familiar with the three SoftBank technoloiges. The Technology Familiarisation sessions will introduce the three technologies, current applications they are being used for and an introduction to the development tools. Later sessions will help teams to identify problems and construct a pitch for entry into the program. See the program session details for more information.


Is the accelerator open to non-SoftBank based robotics start-ups?

Yes. We expect that there will be a number of non-SoftBank based robotics teams participating in the accelerator. Note, however, that the accelerator will only be providing relatively standard office space during the program and access to industrial development, prototyping and testing facilities will not be available.

We are developing a new robotics platform - do you provide makers space to help with this?

No. The robotics accelerator is based in standard office spaces, without machine tools or other fabrication equipment. We may be able to connect you with facilities that can assist; the funding is also designed to pay for contracted development services if required.


Teams will be selected based on entries provided. Selection will be made by a panel of evaluators drawn from QUT bluebox, Advance Queensland and the Softbank Group.

Eligibility Criteria

The primary selection criteria are;

  • Teams must be working on a robotics concept aimed at solving a demonstrable market need. Entry is competitive in nature and will be assessed by a panel of judges drawn from QUT bluebox, Advance Queensland and ST Solutions Australia.
  • Teams must be formed by two or more people. All teams must have demonstrable technical capabilities to work on their selected platform. We also strongly recommend business skills be present on the team as well.
  • Teams must attend sessions throughout the program in Brisbane. A strong preference will therefore be given to Brisbane based teams.