Made in CBR – Canberra’s creative manufacturing hub

Posted 24 Apr 2018

Story by CBR Canberra

Ever had a brilliant product idea but didn’t know where to get started?

Housed in Canberra’s newest creative hotspot—a warehouse-style precinct in Dairy Road Fyshwick—Red Robot Industries is aiming to bridge the gap between great ideas and commercially viable products.

Drawing on their design and engineering expertise, and backed with an exciting range of 3D technology design tools and manufacturing equipment, Red Robot Industries are able to create clever products—from sustainable pop up market stands through to ground-breaking innovations—that have the potential to save people’s lives.

No strangers to the challenges of bringing an idea to life, founders Duncan Amos and Phil Preston, first tinkered with the design for a portable photo booth in Amos’s garage ten years ago. Since then they have become Australia’s largest commercial photo booth supplier and exporter, winning several design awards and enabling more than 500 people start their own photo booth business.

Now they’re on a mission to help other businesses design, manufacture and sell innovative products.

“If people come to us with a great idea, we don’t just help them design and build a prototype,” says Amos. “We also offer them a complete business solution from developing a targeted sales and marketing strategy and connecting them to the right people, through to ongoing coaching and business support.”

And they‘re planning on doing it all from Canberra.

“If we can’t produce it all from our facility, we’ll call on the expertise of other locals,” explains Amos. “We’ve had offers from other parts of Australia, but our goal is to keep everything here.”

Sometimes, if the ideas are particularly promising, Red Robot Industries will also invest in the company, such as in the case of Solar Blox.

“We helped them design and develop these units that provide communities in crisis, such as after a natural disaster, with instant solar power,” explains Amos. “With three or four of these units, you could power a surgery, where normally you’d have to fly in a generator and all the fuel that goes with it. These units just make the process so much simpler and more efficient.

“And we’ve been working with some very clever submarine engineers—who are also Canberra based—to come up with the technology for these units,” he adds.

The ground breaking innovation behind Solar Blox is already gaining worldwide attention with strong interest from the US Department of Defence.

Aside from investing in transformative product ideas, Red Robot Industries is continually on the look out for game-changing manufacturing tools including their latest venture: Liquid graphics. Using hydro technology, businesses can now imprint objects with any kind of custom print or design—whether it’s a bike frame, a canoe or even a fridge—opening the creative possibilities for manufacturing even further.

Surrounded by other innovative businesses in the Dairy Road precinct, it’s no surprise that some of Red Robot Industries’ clients are also their neighbours.

“We created some cool sample beer paddles for Capital Brewing Co,” says Amos. “And we do a lot of interesting laser cut signage for some the guys in our precinct. That’s what we love about being here—we’re just one big collaborative collective— and that’s exactly what we’re trying to build here in Canberra.”

Find out more about Red Robot Industries here.

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