The best of 2017: Australian Technology

02 Jan 2018




Australians have made incredible advancements around the world in technology. Catch up on the best featured on Australia Unlimited in the past year.
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Australians stopped light. That’s right, just like the Star Wars character Kylo Ren who uses the force to halt a laser blast mid-flight, Australian scientist Ben Bulcher and his quantum computing team at the Australian National University worked out how to stop light. Why is this important? This discovery moves us one step closer to a working quantum computer, where light could be used to rapidly transfer data between two points.  
Ben Buchler from ANU

When the ‘next big thing’ in technology is mentioned, usually the words Internet of Things (IoT) aren’t far behind. IoT, the connected system of machine-to-machine communication is set to change our lives. The technology will allow data systems to communicate and update in real time – making  cities to run more efficiently. Australian startup founder Flavia Tata Nadini is developing satellite technology that will  create a “digital nervous system” in space.

Ever thought about how social media affects your life? Does Facebook know how you are feeling? Helen Christensen and her team at the Black Dog Institute are exploring with innovative data technology whether social media can accurately map our emotions. The Digital Dog Group think that social media might give us greater insight into our mental health, and this knowledge could help people in need get help sooner.

Professor Helen Christensen. Credit: Black Dog Institute

Rubber into oil. The clever folk at Green Distillation Technologies have developed a process that can turn tyres into renewable, highly efficient fuel. This is pretty amazing when you consider that more than 1 billion tyres are produced each year, taking an estimated 500 years to break down. This incredible solution is leading the way in sustainable technology for one of the world’s major environmental problems - used tyres. 
Denis Randall, Green Distillation Technologies Chief Technology Officer

Did you know that weeds are building up a resistance to pesticides? Well, a farmer from Western Australia, Ray Harrington, has been working on a workable technology for more than 20 years that kills weeds without using pesticides. The Harrington Seed Destructor is leading the war on weeds which will mean greater food security for our future.

 A Western Australian farmer Ray Harrington