Program details


Automation is "the creation and application of technology to monitor and control the production and delivery of products and services.” Automation changes how we do business and the type of manufacturing jobs available. Businesses automate so that customers get the quality products they want, to reduce waste in the process chain and to ensure production process is timely. Economists have identified that automation increases our need to problem solve, communicate and collaborate.

Locally, Staley Automation provides leading industrial automation solutions for Australian mining, manufacturing, food & beverage, agriculture and water sectors. Staley focuses on using sensors to measure and monitor the automated processes.  Sensors make machines more reliable by improving self-detection and self-reporting, which is paving the way for these systems to become self-correcting.

Food grading often occurs by hand to assess and sort products by size, shape and quality. Mass food production relies upon the grading and sorting of produce to ensure the consumer gets what they pay for.

Students will be challenged to develop a robotic solution for a food industry engineering brief.

Learning program overview

Students will work collaboratively to:

  • experience desktop automation using a desktop robotic arm
  • construct a prototype automation system using Arduino based electronics to sort products
  • create, change and edit code to test variables such as speed and direction
  • develop a basic understanding of electronic inputs and outputs used

No prior robotics experience is required; beginners are able to advance sequentially to increase their knowledge and skill level.

Success criteria

  • Application of an automation solution that solves a food industry sorting problem
  • Demonstration of their Arduino based automation technology
  • Ability to identify and solve problems in the design solution process

Pathway examples

  • Designers: quality assurance, electrician, system engineers, food technologist
  • Technologists: programmer, software engineer, project manager
  • Coordinators: ICT support technicians, systems engineer