ARIA Research receives $1.4M in grant funding to build Human Augmentation Laboratory in Sydney

January 20, 2023

Sydney, Australia - ARIA Research, announced today that it has received a $1.4 million grant from the New South Wales Tech Central Research and Innovation Infrastructure Fund to support the development of the Human Augmentation Laboratory (HAL) in Sydney's Tech Central district.

The HAL will be an industry-led, open-lab facility that aims to rapidly research and translate the latest technologies that augment human capability such as Augmented Reality, Robotics, and Artificial Intelligence. It will provide the necessary infrastructure for deep-tech startups and university researchers in Tech Central to conduct clinical trials, user testing, and co-design high-impact technologies for the medtech, disability, space, and general consumer markets.

The facility will include a 120 m2 main lab space, a 140-seat auditorium, and a 240 m2 human capability assessment lab. Access to the lab will be either free or subsidised for students, researchers, and startups and available for use by other industry and research organisations in Sydney.

"HAL is an open toolbox to help speed early-stage deep-tech innovators in gathering the proof points needed to support commercialization of life-changing, high-impact technologies and products with the potential for global export," said lab project leader Robert Yearsley.

ARIA Research will use the lab to conduct user and clinical trials of its AR Glass non-invasive bionic vision system in collaboration with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the blind community. The project aims to demonstrate, under clinical conditions, how the AIRA device can provide a blind user with accurate spatial perception via sound. ARIA aims to provide life-changing sensory capability to the world's 338 million blind and low-vision people.

A pilot clinical trial is scheduled for the first half of 2024 with the support of MTPConnect's CTCM program. The capabilities of the HAL allow for the simulation of complex environments such as kitchens, road crossings, and shops to better understand the impact of the technology across a broad range of everyday scenarios. The lab is fully instrumented to not only provide sophisticated simulations but ground-truth measurement of human biophysical state, and physical interaction. It is expected that the lab will dramatically speed up research translation where empirical data is needed around user state and interaction with the physical environment.

The grant was announced by Minister for Science, Innovation, and Technology Alister Henskens, who said, “Tech Central’s status as a nation-leading centre of innovation and development will be enhanced by these projects, harnessing the power of local expertise to bring significant physical and digital infrastructure across its target industries and research areas”.

For more information about the Human Augmentation Laboratory, visit