SCP E27: Create, Break, Learn, Repeat (Part 1), with Tim Rastall

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In this episode of The Smart City Podcast, I interviewed technologist and creator Tim Rastall. I’ve broken this episode into two parts as we had so much to talk about. In this episode, Part 1, we talk about some of the exciting work that Tim has been doing and continues to do. Tim now has his own consulting practice ISE Consulting which focuses on IoT, machine learning and mixed realities. Tim and I discuss a number of different technologies and the emerging uses of these such as using audio technology for environmental research, we also discuss the pros and cons of NZ in the Smart City space. Part 2 of Tim’s episode will be the next episode out where you’ll hear the rest of our conversation about integrating across industry, government and academia, the importance of communication and some cool technologies that are emerging.

Listen here:

Quotes:

“what we discovered in the early stages of our work was that trying to get all the information onto a 2D map on a screen presented a lot of issues and one way to avoid this is by using three dimensional models of the city that you can navigate and interact with in a much more intuitive way”

“I’m very interested in how machine learning can be used to help cities get better at doing to some of the things they do at the moment”

“something that you are going to start seeing in the next few years is simulation systems that are going to allow cities to trial things that would be impractical in the real world…that still gives them a pretty good degree of understanding of what the outcomes are”

“[NZ cities] have all the features, traits, characteristics and problems of big cities but they are small, they are small enough to be able to roll something out. So to do something that would be prohibitively expensive and difficult in a big city is actually quite practical in NZ cities”

What we covered:

  • Tim’s background the UK and NZ and love for tech and passion for creating
  • Trialing things with NEC and Wellington City Council
  • Building a better understanding using three dimensional modelling
  • Machine learning and trialing things in a simulated environment
  • Emerging uses for LiDAR and audio technology
  • Using audio technology for environmental research
  • The differences in bench and field trials and what needs to be considered
  • Open data policies in NZ and the lifestyle of Wellington
  • Why NZ cities make for good testing grounds
  • Changes that are needed to move forward with Smart Cities in NZ

Links:

NEC https://www.nec.com

Wellington City Council https://wellington.govt.nz

Connect:

Connect with Tim via email tim.rastall@ise.nzLinkedIn, Twitter @timrastall

Connect with me via email: zoe@thesmartcitypodcast.com, Twitter or Facebook @smartcitypod

The Smart City Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E26: The Connected Soldier, with Richard Kidd

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In this episode of The Smart City Podcast, I had a really fascinating conversation with the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Army, Strategic Integration Mr Richard Kidd. Richard tells us about how the Smart City concept is being utilised in Army installation across the US and also the sheer scale of the Army’s footprint (for the Aussie listeners, this is about 1.5 times the area of South East Queensland). He also gives us an overview of his presentation at the IEEE GreenTech Conference and how the Army is pioneering with Smart Technology with the “connected solider,” autonomous vehicles and building management. He also talks about changing our focus from fixed sensors to moving ones that are already available, and importantly always keeping privacy and security front of mind. This was such an interesting conversion, so as always I hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed making it.

Listen Here:

 

Quotes:

“When we look to the future of our Army installations, we want them to be connected, clean, vibrant, efficient, digital but we also want them to be secure”

“We have to think not what the Army is today but about the future…no one who grows up in a Smart City is going to want to live on a dumb installation…we have to create an environment that is attractive for those who are considering joining the military, so it’s an issue of recruiting and retention”

“What we’ve pioneered on a number of installations is autonomous, easy accessible vehicles where a wounded warrior…can call the vehicle, then that vehicle can take him or her to physical therapy or shopping or other types of things, so it returns mobility to a solider”

“In Smart Cities we often talk about [stationary] sensors…we don’t realise that everybody, at least in the developed world, is a sensor platform…the notion of sensors being fixed to a permanent object is going to be replaced with the notion of movable sensors”

What we covered:

  • Richard’s background in the US Army, United Nations, government and back into the Army
  • Smart Installations in the Army and a secure environment
  • Scale, footprint and features of the Army “cities” in the US
  • Why the Smart City concept is important for the Army now and in the future
  • The 3 key imperatives from Richard’s presentation at the IEEE GreenTech Smart City Conference 2018
  • Some of the technology the US Army is exploring and the idea of the “Connected Solider”
  • Using autonomous vehicles to improve safety and accessibility
  • Building management and sustainability technologies being piloted throughout the Army
  • Why collaboration is key to a successful outcome
  • Connected inhalers and air pollution improvements
  •  Moving sensors in connected Smart Cities
  • Using a sustainable Aussie innovation, cross laminate timber in construction

Links:

IEEE GreenTech Conference https://ieeegreentech.org/blog/cr3ativspeaker/richard-kidd/

US Army https://www.army.mil

Connect:

You can cannot with Richard via LinkedIn

Connect with me via email: zoe@thesmartcitypodcast.com

Connect via Twitter and Facebook @smartcitypod

The Smart City Podcast is Produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

 

 

SCP E24 – Let’s Talk about Terms, with Zoe Eather

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In this episode of The Smart City Podcast, I tell you what I’ve been up to and what’s coming up. And then I also go through some of the terms we’ve been using which hopefully is useful for your understanding. One that I forgot to mention was BIM which  is basically 3D modelling but with so much more detail about the components of the structure or infrastructure that can be utilised in asset management, quality assurance, community consultation and the full life cycle of that product, amongst many other things. So you can use BIM in combination with VR and AR which I’ll talk about a bit in this episode. Also, I mention Colin Wright’s episode on blockchain but actually it’s on Bitcoin which is still useful to understand. Enjoy!

Listen here:

Links:

ZEMCON https://zemcon.com.au

Churchill Fellowship https://www.churchilltrust.com.au

Engineers Australia Southern Regional Forum 24th of May https://www.engineersaustralia.org.au/Event/2018-southern-regional-forum-creating-legacy

ASCA’s Smart Cities Conference http://ascaconference.org.au

Colin Wright’s Let’s Know Things Episode on Bitcoin http://letsknowthings.com/episode56/

Brittanie Campbell-Turner’s Article on Blockchain in Construction https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/blockchain-guide-construction-industry-podcasts-campbell-turner/

Agile Project Management Article https://www.cio.com/article/3156998/agile-development/agile-project-management-a-beginners-guide.html

Connect:

Connect with me via email: zoe@thesmartcitypodcast.com

Connect via Twitter and Facebook @smartcitypod

The Smart City Podcast is Produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E23: Being Nimble and of Service, with Chelsea Collier

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In this episode of The Smart City Podcast, I had an awesome conversation with Chelsea Collier. Chelsea shares some really interesting insights from her Eisenhower Fellowship where she explored Smart Cities across America and China. This led to her to launching Digi.City so that she could share what she was learning in real-time. Digi.City is now a platform for the exploration of Smart City technology and Policy. Chelsea talks about why she kept Digi.City as a brand and didn’t “expand” it to a full-blown company, which was super interesting for me as I’m going through some of the same thinking right now with this podcast. Chelsea and I also have some great conversations about tech, collaboration and how Smart Cities have to be a long term investment.

Listen Here:

Quotes:

“there’s such an awesome opportunity to leverage technology right now and let technology do what it does best so that we can expand the human experience and solve some of the most systemic challenges that our communities have faced for decades, if not, centuries”

“this is the new way of being a city government, being responsive and connected, there is no time to waste”

“the pace and acceleration of technology and innovation is so much faster [now] and policy just simply can’t keep pace…the job right now is just to streamline as much as possible…and get as open as you possible can”

“it’s no longer silos and different groups, it’s a collaborative process and the cities who are already thinking like that and who are already rolling out projects in that same spirit, they are the ones who are getting to the head of the pack very quickly”

“becoming a Smart City is not a short term play…it’s a much deeper commitment”

What we covered:

  • Chelsea’s broad reaching background and how it relates to Smart Cities
  • Chelsea’s Eisenhower Fellowship looking at Smart Cities across America and China
  • Launching Digi.City and how the Smart Cities conversation has changed
  • Smart Cities Connect conferences
  • Keeping Digi.City as a brand and being nimble and of service in a non-biased way
  • Creating easy-to-follow policy checklists for Smart Cities
  • Looking at best practice in China and depending on technology in the megacities
  • Collaborative approach and how leadership means working together
  • Investment in the infrastructure of being a Smart City
  • 5G being a game-changer and economic impacts of being left behind
  • Are we really talking about blockchain?

Links:

Eisenhower Fellowship https://www.efworld.org

Digi.City http://www.digi.city

Smart Cities Connect https://spring.smartcitiesconnect.org

Connect:

You can connect with Chelsea via Digi.City or Twitter @digi_city

Connect with me via email: zoe@thesmartcitypodcast.com

Connect via Twitter and Facebook @smartcitypod

The Smart City Podcast is Produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E22: Bringing Together Talented Humans, Robots and Automation, with Michael Milford

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In this episode of the Smart City Podcast, I had a super awesome chat with Robotics and AI guru Michael Milford. Michael is a professor at QUT and has his own start up Math Thrills. Michael and I talk about some of the cool things he is working on at the moment and the different aspects of autonomous vehicles and AI. We also have great discussion on keeping and attracting local talent and had a pleasantly unexpected convo about the importance of diversity in the tech space. I really enjoyed this Friday afternoon chat!

Listen Here:

Quotes:

“cities for the last century have this reputation [of being] static, unchanging, concrete jungles…I think it’s going to be really fascinating to see how radically the very concept of what a city is and what a Smart City will become with all these very exciting, but also very much still in development, technologies”

“in most cities some form of intelligent transport or autonomous vehicle transport is probably, although not certainly, going to factor in a big way in redesigning what the Smart City of the future looks like”

“Dull, dirty and dangerous jobs where robotics has the biggest role to play…so if we can remove people from harm’s way and replace [that task] with robotics and automation that’s a good thing”

“providing some really exciting projects, initiatives and incentives that really capture the imagination of the public, are going to be really key to nourishing that local talent development and retention”

“in order to try and get ahead…we need to really be plugged into what’s happening overseas…if you can start responding or planning for a new technology advance 2 or 3 years earlier, that gives you a much better starting platform than if you are just playing catch up”

“even if 90% of what you hear about in the media is hype, the 10% that’s actually true is enough to transform society”

What we covered:

  • Michael’s background in robotics and artificial intelligence and passionate in making education in STEM fun and engaging
  • Thinking about how the concept of a city will change with technology
  • Saving lives with autonomous vehicle and the challenges in the technology
  • Combining data and AI to gain insights into a city
  • Improving mining through robotics and automation
  • Behavioural impacts of autonomous vehicles and interaction with the infrastructure
  • Why Brisbane is a great place to pilot Smart tech as well as undertake the research and development
  • Local talent development and retention
  • Perks of living in Brisbane and improving global collaboration
  • Integrating tech companies, governments and corporations
  • Planning for new technology advances
  • Brisbane’s talent pool and cultural change in education
  • The importance of having relatable and regular role models and inclusivity in STEM
  • Call out for Elon Musk to come on The Smart City Podcast
  • Iterative transformations happening in society and inadvertently creating human level intelligence
  • AI assisting humans in the workforce

Links:

Math Thrills http://maththrills.com

Advance Queensland https://advance.qld.gov.au

Mining3 https://www.mining3.com

Australian Centre for Robotic Vision https://www.roboticvision.org

Cooperative and Highly Automated Driving (CHAD) Pilot https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/projects/cavi/cavi-components#chad

Atlassian https://www.atlassian.com

Elon Musk @elonmusk

Connect:

Connect with Michael through QUT, via email michael.milford@qut.edu.au or Twitter @maththrills

Connect with me via email: zoe@thesmartcitypodcast.com, Twitter or Facebook @smartcitypod

The Smart City Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP EP21: Making Construction Smarter, with Brittanie Campbell-Turner

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In this episode of The Smart City Podcast, I interviewed fellow podcaster and construction professional and enthusiast Brittanie Campbell-Turner. Brittanie hosts the Constructrr podcast and is currently in her second season which is talking about Blockchain in Construction. Brittanie and I deep dive into how technology can be used to improve processes within the construction industry but also how important it is to not lose sight of how the people involved can be affected. We talk about blockchain, 3D manufacturing, virtual and augmented reality and Building Information Modelling (BIM). BIM for those who don’t know is basically 3D modelling but with so much more detail about the components of the structure or infrastructure that can be utilised in asset management, quality assurance, community consultation and the full life cycle of that product, amongst many other things. It was so great to talk with Brittanie and I look forward to collaborating in the future.

Listen Here:

Quotes:

“I believe the reason we have built environment is in order for you to be more productive, be more fulfilled in the space and to create better relationships in that built environment”

“there’s a lot of opportunity for everyone to get on the same page about what BIM is and use it in their projects…it really makes a whole lot more sense to use it than to not use it”

“we can’t just do tech because it’s cool, you have to really focus on the task at hand, is it the citizen? Is it the patient that’s in the hospital? Is it the person that is going to be working in that workspace? How do you affect all the people that are involved?”

“you have to really educate about what’s possible…making sure people are aware of the benefits you can get with investment in training, with investment in creating a more integrated approach and then also training around the utilisation of technology and sharing with people what the results ultimately have been”

“People aren’t looking at gamification enough, it comes back to that human responsiveness and behaviour, I think that gamification…would really help people feel more fulfilled in [the construction industry]”

What we covered:

  • Brittanie’s background in construction and architectural engineering and passion to use technology to build better relationships and collaborations
  • A love for technology and design and watching HGTV
  • Brittanie’s exposure to tech through her school Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Net Zero Homes
  • The Constructrr Podcast, using blockchain in construction and co-working
  • Deeper dive into BIM and using it on projects both horizontal and vertical infrastructure
  • Drones, 3D manufacturing, virtual and augmented reality in construction
  • Focus on how the technology affects the people involved and getting the value from technology
  • The importance of educating people about what’s possible
  • Finding innovative culture and investing in training
  • How America can be contribute to the global Smart City community
  • Using gamification in construction

Links:

Constructrr Podcast http://www.constructrr.com

HGTV https://www.hgtv.com

Illinois Institute of Technology https://web.iit.edu

McKinsey Report https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/capital-projects-and-infrastructure/our-insights/reinventing-construction-through-a-productivity-revolution

Autodesk https://www.autodesk.com

City Zenith http://www.cityzenith.com

Connect:

Connect with Brittanie via the Constructrr Podcast, LinkedIn, Twitter @brittanie_ct or via email brittanie@constructrr.com

Connect with me via email: zoe@thesmartcitypodcast.com

Connect via Twitter and Facebook @smartcitypod

The Smart City Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.