On this episode of the NTP Podcast we interview Adam Amos, Director of Robotic Systems. In the episode we discuss the growth of Robotic Systems locally, Adam’s university experience and his team’s unique approach to maintaining motivation in the workplace.
Hope you enjoy the episode.
Here you can source all the things we have talked about in the podcast whether that be books, events, meet-up groups and what’s new in the newcastle tech scene.
welcome to another episode of new tech people today we have adam amos director of robotic systems welcome adam thank you very much for having me mate uh for those that don’t know who you are um can you give us a bit of an overview of who you are and what you’re currently working on so my name’s adam i’m the director of robotic systems and we’re an engineering consultancy based in mayfield our skills are in electronics hardware and software and we specialize in accelerating the journey from crazy concepts to a prototype and then a prototype to a profitable product right so you’re working with clients clients coming to you with some crazy problem and you’d work with them on fixing that yeah that’s right so we connect with people into mining and agricultural industries mostly yeah and a big part of what we do is take their practical experience with some problem something in their business and we turn that into a piece of machinery that they own the rights to and can sell yeah right so they actually own that so you’ll build a product for them help them design that but yeah they they own the prop product 100 yeah it’s uh it’s all about them and in the last 12 months we’ve achieved four patents for our customers on technology we’ve developed on their behalf and we’ve shipped three million dollars with a product from our facility in mayfield west so a patent for us is the highest possible accolade we can get because you know awards are awesome but a payton means you’ve proven you’ve done something new and it’s it’s it’s it’s amazing yeah right local successfully out of mayfield and as it’s so like there’s not there’s not i imagine a great deal of the community that actually knows about robotic systems and and uh you know where the success you’re having now if you want to if you want to back a little bit where did it start how have you gone from where it started to where you are all right today yeah okay so um nobody knowing about us is definitely my fault um over the years but uh i guess where i started was uh in robotics competitions yeah probably the last couple of years at university it’s always kind of just exploded out of me i’m drawn to engineering robotics kind of like a monster flame i i don’t know i don’t think i could do anything else yeah and so i started getting involved in in robotics competitions um on my own bat yeah and um the most important one or the the one i’ve really gravitated to was a drone competition run by the csiro in outback queensland yeah and it was all about designing a drone uh as an amateur to take off from an airport fly 10 kilometers search for an area bush for lost bushwalker and if you could find the bushwalker drop a water bottle to them and whoever got the closest to the bushwalker uh won and you had to actually design the drone itself yeah that’s right design and build fly the whole thing wow um and look i don’t want to you know get any illusions here i was not successful but i really gave it a good go over about 60 years yeah wow and so i found that by telling that story when i was working in the workplace when i just graduated uni i started to develop a bit of a cult following with my customers so i was doing a similar sort of job to what i was doing now yeah but for another company that was head office out of melbourne yeah and unfortunately one day that that company went broke and i was left with a handful of projects here in sydney in sydney halfway through and all my customers insisted that i i kept going and that was eight years ago and all those customers came back we’ve won some more customers and got nine full-time staff now out at mayfield west you’re right i don’t think um you mentioned you know your fault that uh people don’t know about it i think it’s just a newcastle it’s a new it’s like a newcastle mindset a lot of the time we have a lot of local success stories who don’t have the ego and want to shout out from the rooftops but doing some really cool things based here in newcastle like we’ve had a number of guests on the podcast where who have designed or built products that have got like international contracts and no one even knows about them i think it’s a it’s a pretty common story here in uganda yeah that’s right and uh it’s i i can definitely have to take a lot of responsibility for that i mean a few years ago i made the fatal mistake of putting a picture of a drone on our website yeah and we alluded that we’re going into the drone industry and uh that resulted in us being the drone guys for a long time so the people that did know about us knew this is the drone guys so i definitely contributed to that confusion yeah so uh yeah i’m getting a lot of professional help now to help unwind that damage yeah right that’s it you know i’m clarifying that message and that’s just part of business as well i think it’s just that as you evolved you know started with just yourself and a bunch of contracts now you’ve got nine employees clarifying that message and all that sounds like you know robotics is your jam not necessarily marketing and messaging right and how to market your company you might have to be building right big time uh i can definitely say after eight years of doing that experiment it’s not what i’m good at yeah so uh you know get the right team around you to make that happen so nice now you may mention right at the start that you know this is probably all you’ll ever do um that you know you’re drawn like a moth to a flame how important do you think it is for both for yourself and if you’re to give advice to others but you’d be passionate about what you’re actually doing it’s really the precursor to everything so the if if you can’t wake up and care about what it is you’re going to do that day you know why do it you know you’re going to suck at it for starters yeah really if your heart’s not in it you’re really just grinding it and we’re talking about a 2 000 hours a year commitment of you’re going to you know signing yourself up to so yeah you know really have a good think about what it is you want to do for me i like that for me it sounds so easy because you know it’s often people think it’s really cool and for me i found that relatively easy because it was just what what all i could do but for the people that struggle with that you know it’s not an easy task to figure that out so don’t don’t feel bad that you don’t know but it’ll take some work to figure out but it’s well worth the effort yeah nice and so you you you made mention you’re drawn to it i imagine that started pretty early like where where did a love of robotics start for you i actually asked my mum this question um a while ago and she sent me a picture from the first robotics competition i went into in 1993 um and it was to build a a robot vacuum um it was don’t get me wrong it was a it was a handi-vac sticky taped to a um model like a remote control digger and my big innovation was a clip that held down the handi-vac button so it sounds good to me so from then i guess that’s the first recorded evidence yeah yeah nice and then that’s obviously evolved you obviously honed your skills were you a tinkerer like while you’re at high school is that you continue through that phase is that sort of how you continue to build your skills um yeah so through high school we are definitely doing a lot of pointless projects there’s probably the big turning point for me was probably at the end of university and was in one of the robotics competitions where i was about to finish university i didn’t really feel like i had enough skills any one particular area to to develop something um myself because you know couldn’t afford to go and get somebody to help me so i went all in on this idea of getting trained up in a um a specific program language and i decided i was going to become the guy for this programming language what programming language was that this is it’s going to be a real obscure one it’s um national instruments labview there are and the the reason i chose it is because it uh is a language designed to focus on outcomes with a piece of hardware and it can it basically constrains you and what you can do but think about the lego mindstorms and that sort of thing but make it more uh more aggressive and i know there’s some guys that if they watch this that i work with that often tease me saying that it’s like lego yeah so that’s it i think that’s um also what you may mention over there is just being being known as the person in a really narrow field yeah i’ve i think i’ve spoken on the podcast board about depth over with like going super deep in a niche and becoming really good at that as opposed to sort of being sort of okay across everything yeah i think there’s a lot of power in that yeah that’s right and um that led me um it got me the first job i had at a university and then when that evolved it got me a large contract up here with oracle mining yeah that we still maintain this day and have grown yeah nice so you made mention of uni what uni degree did you do uh engineering mechatronics yeah at the university of wollongong and how was that experience look i yeah i didn’t do well at university yeah for me i actually found it a very painful process yeah i also made the mistake of a mistake i something not for my personality which was doing a internship that ran for the last couple of years of the university alongside of trying to do university and for me i really had a lot of troubles with that yeah stretched out the degree a lot and caused a lot of pain yeah um i mean it was great experience definitely didn’t take you anywhere down the technical role yeah it was with a big a big defense company in sydney and basically with jockey spreadsheets and so technically there was definitely no achievement there but uh you know in terms of resume it looked okay i guess yeah and i guess sometimes even those poor experiences at least know let you know what you don’t like yeah or if you were to take on an intern you know what to not have to do because internships can be extremely valuable i’ve you know i’ve had people in the podcast and spoken to heaps of people before that done an internship and then growing on with our company post university and built really strong careers if it’s done well and i’ve had other people where companies just purely take advantage of people yes it can be yeah it’s definitely two ways to go there yeah for sure so if you were like if you were to like provide advice to you know somebody that’s in high school at the moment has a real interest in robotics or just building things and tinkering what advice would you give them if they want to sort of build a career to work for a company like robotic systems the biggest thing you can do is to differentiate differentiate yourself with practical skills yeah the anybody can go to university basically now and get a degree there’s people getting degrees you know you can get you can get one anywhere all around the world and you’re in engineering and your qualifications essentially be recognized here in australia yeah so to me what we’re looking for is differentiation on practical ability to implement so what you get out of by doing these competitions or attending these sort of um you know meetups trying to do stuff is the development of those practical skills and apply that so i think you get a huge value in going all in on that idea and if you competitions aren’t your thing jump on tafe you know have a look at their you know they’ve got a lot of really great courses on shot soldering and you know practical skills being taught properly and once you know that you know you’re going to be able to dramatically improve your ability to to build stuff yeah so forever yeah great so it’s something i think we talk about once again quite frequently here on the podcast is that building something in your own time if we’re in software development somebody to go out and build their own app or build their own site they show your practical capability and you can learn a lot by doing that sounds like it’s very similar story in that sort of you know robotics or the hardware software um for us it’s the first step in our job application process yeah there is no we don’t look at resumes we just ask people to send us a video yeah three minutes show us you’ve built anything you know your own time even you know even if it’s not necessarily directly in the technical role maybe if we’re hiring for a uh you know assistance role or something like that within the business we show us you care about something yeah and then on the tech side just show the stuff you’ve made um in your own time so you can just talk about it we don’t want to see stuff that you build at work being paid to do that we don’t want to see anything you build at university because you’re basically doing that as part of a job yeah so and everybody’s got that that’s the standard yeah so yeah once again it’s that differentiator right how do you differentiate yourself from the field is that you know taking something building in your own time but probably the way that you hire obviously you’ve just mentioned that ties really closely into who you are yes you may mention of passion right so no one’s gonna be building stuff in their own time unless they’re passionate about it so it sounds like you’re trying to obviously you know that passionate that ability to go and do something build something themselves something you value very highly big time so um because i think as something happens in your mind when you’re paying for something yourself and building something it really changes your mindset on how you’d actually develop and for us robotic systems the one question we’re always asking ourselves when we’re developing stuff is would i buy this would i do this myself and if it’s not that then you know we don’t do it for our customers all right nice and i imagine there’s quite a few projects under ndas and under you know other other forms of uh uh projects that you just can’t talk about let’s talk let’s say that yeah but i also imagine you’ve built some pretty cool things with your team over the past in a number of years if you had a top couple of projects that you’ve worked on that most interesting is there anything you could share with us 100 so there’s some some now that have gone all the way and into commercialization yeah so uh i think i had no good headline one is we connected with some farmers in kunabara brand and what they wanted to do was find weeds on a fallow and a fallow is an area of land that’s being rested with no crops on it and they thought well if you could find the weed on the fallow and then tell their boom sprayers where they are then the boom sprayers could just turn on their nozzles over the plants rather than having to blanket spray the whole field so they rolled into our tent at um ag quip which is a regional agricultural trade show and with this idea and over the last five years we prototyped a whole bunch of different solutions of bringing it how we could actually do this and we’ve recently been it’s recently been commercialized and the first units have been sold straight off the straight off the production line and it’s totally flipped the spraying industry so it uses a combination of precision gps machine vision with specialized algorithms laser range finding drone aircraft light aircraft to ultimately discern living from dead plant material on a fallow and we can cover around about a thousand hectares a day a thousand football fields a day and find plants as small as a 20 cent piece yeah it’s a it’s a it’s a great great piece of technology developed right here in newcastle um and it’s it’s really done the whole journey for us and turn somebody’s understanding of a problem into a profitable machine yeah right and then they’ll obviously be able to sell that too a lot of sense around the world as well right that’s it so it’s all about deaf they’re focused on on on their business and selling the units we’re focused on developing the tech and manufacturing it all right for those that it might be a little bit less technical can you give that just a little bit of deeper insight into sort of that project itself so like we met you mentioned you know a couple of like keywords that are going around at the moment you’re talking about machine vision you’re talking about drones for those who don’t know can you provide a little bit more insights into exactly sort of how that would work yeah okay so the um for machine vision it’s essentially using cameras um to as the primary sensor and then developing algorithms that can find interesting features within those within those images and so we had to do a couple of things to make it work for single shot because we had to come up with a camera that could tell a living plant from a dead plant and then we had to come up with algorithms on top of that to be able to filter out things that were throwing the cameras off so uh it’s essentially the process of machine vision is doing what your brain is trying to do when you’re looking at things yeah um so it’s i guess that’s at a very high level what’s going on yeah i guess i’m trying to describe a couple of years of work in a few sentences but it’s that’s kind of one aspect of it the rest the other part is precision positioning of those images in the real world so that other devices in this case large broad acre boom sprayings boom sprayers can successfully identify those weeds wow phenomena yeah that’s um that’s that’s a good one and um another one we on the other end of scale with uh mining companies we manufacture the frag track system yeah from oracle mining and they uh essentially what that does is a 3d camera system that looks at broken rock after a blast and analyzes how broken the rock is and gives it a fragmentation score that they can use to close the loop as a blasting process so they came to us with a a working device they had two devices but they couldn’t scale out their manufacturing yeah so we reverse engineered their prototype product and then came with a process to to scale that out and um to date we’ve manufactured over 60 units yeah and we’ve been shipping them all around the world and we’ve on the hook to produce another 60 from from our mayfield manufacturing facility so you got the manufacturing side design built prototyped all here in newcastle absolutely all right how does that um how does that play out with manufacturing locally obviously manufacturing in australia doesn’t have a really great reputation because of costs and i guess a lot of offshoring how have you found the experience manufacturing locally here in newcastle so manufacturing to me is just going through another metamorphosis yeah it’s just changing again so for us the way we manufacture it’s all about only doing the highest value uh tasks and nothing else so way we do it is if we’re getting circuit boards manufactured we’ll get them manufactured overseas yeah they’ll arrive here we’ll do the final quality checks and then a final assembly into completed units so we maintain a globally competitive pricing on all of our manufactured parts so that’s just not for electronics we do the same thing with mechanical enclosures so we can do become globally competitive on pricing with our local quality levels as well yeah nice perfect oh man it’s really interesting and it’s great to hear once again newcastle’s success story and sort of bringing some manufacturing quality to newcastle as well which is great i’ll see you no worries what’s the plan so obviously we’ve gone from you you made mention of you know you you got some contracts as you your past company went went under uh you built to a team and nine at the moment what’s what’s the projections for the next 12 24 months it’s looking like we’ve we’ve been doubling in size pretty much every 12 months for the last three years and it looks like we’re going to double again so we’ve gone from so we’re now at a team of nine um looks like we’ll get to about a team of 15. wow um i’m hoping i thought probably by the end of next year well i’m at the current rate and that’s supported with some great new projects that we’ve won uh all around australia and uh as well as some great support from existing long-term key customers that that we’ve built up a lot of trust with now and are now responsible for large large amounts of um their business yeah fantastic and how’s our the recent covered times affected your business it’s actually been um you know without detracting from any the bad things have happened from covert but it’s been a real shake-up for us in a great way uh when at the start of the year the day boris johnson put us into lockdown i would put down uk to lock down i decided look it’s something a matter of time for for us here so i sent everybody home bought some excellent noise cancelling headphones for everybody and uh it gave us i can’t describe exactly what happened but by getting us out of our workspace in our offices it shook up our thinking on how we actually work and so we had to go all in on the idea we had to make all of our processes digital and we had to entirely digitize our service offering and in three months uh working at home i don’t think we’ve worked so hard as a team together yeah but we’ve created some some excellent new ways we deliver value to the customers and it’s we’re seeing the rewards for that now through um some really really great projects that i hope to come back here in 12 months time and have you know three more for you yeah um that have gone all the way yeah right has covered i know for a lot of uh organizations and just industries covered it’s broken down geographic boundaries so what would have been you know an old newcastle local company operating more locally with local clients geographic boundaries have been broken down because you know you can’t see somebody face to face anyway locally so you know having a client local or having somebody on the other side of the country or world is just as easy going forward so has that have more opportunities presented themselves for you um through covert yeah big time so we’re now competing and beating companies in perth for local jobs there yeah um that would have never been possible before and i think there’s kind of two sides to that yeah one is we’ve gotten a bit clearer on what we do who we do it for but the other big part of that is our customer base mining guys guys you know they definitely before covert had a very negative view i’d say as a general rule of doing stuff of a video chat they would definitely insist on being in person and now six after six months of being forced to work at home because of all the big companies basically said you know policy everybody go home realize that it is possible and so that has given us that opportunity to to go all to make that make that shift um the younger guys in the in those industries that’s it was never never a problem for them but a lot of the older guys and the way these businesses are structured the power very much sits at the top so the decisions sit there but now it’s it’s totally changed yeah nice uh you may mention your team made a very early move uh going remote you mentioned headphones um any other technologies that have really enabled that for you the headphones will be the biggest game changer but a good webcam as well yeah there’s definitely something that goes on when people looking at each other’s faces that you don’t get on an email so we also try to avoid sending emails now we send videos yeah yeah there’s a lot of great apps out there for that microsoft’s got something in it the loom stuff which is where you use is has been really good to to also say writing a thousand words in an email in 45 minutes yeah so we’ve been we’ve we’ve kind of gone down that way we’re getting off microsoft at the moment hasn’t worked for us it doesn’t work externally yeah it only works internally and like um we don’t have enough resources to battle with it to make it work so we’re getting away from that and going to um going to the google offering at the moment yeah nice yeah so you’re up to a team of nine you’re still hiring through covert uh and you may mention before what you look for in in sort of um you know some of your staff members that passion is there any other sort of tips or hints that you would give to people that want to get into this industry to join an organization like yours get out there and do something you know there’s never a better time to get to be a maker you can there’s more reasons available than it ever has been there’s more challenges out there than there ever has been and there’s some really big ones out there you can jump on uh if you just google mine challenges australia then you’ll find so a great list of big challenges are put out by the industry are basically contracts for anybody who can solve it yeah you know get out there start having to go you know there’s there’s there’s never been less barriers to entry yeah nice mate you’re obviously a busy man both technical yourself still working from a technical perspective while being a director of a company of nine now how do you manage your day well i’ve actually gone post-technical so um there’s about a year ago i realized that i had pretty much hit the limit what i was trying to do because i was trying to work selling hours doing technical development and it was kind of hamstringing everything we’re doing so i made the decision to basically go the other way and say look if we want to grow the business and and make it a success that that really the team deserves that respect for somebody to steer the ship properly and not be not be focused on other things then i had to give up technical and i’d never thought i’d do it um but i have yeah and so now i spend a lot of time talking to people and talking to a lot of customers talking to new customers and i didn’t think i’d ever like it but i’ve i’ve decided this is the only way yeah and i ultimately want to deliver on what it what it is i started the business for and and make sure we hit that so it’s still very problem solving solving orientated just less more strategic and less technical yeah that’s right there’s everybody’s i’ve got an amazing team around you know for me now my role is basically setting the setting the goal posts and then standing back and letting them do their jobs yeah cool from a technology perspective i think there’s two sort of career paths people as become more experienced go and it’s either continue down our technical realm becoming an actual just technical gun and like real tech protective or expert in the field or you start to go down the man management or the people management route where you start to manage your team it sounds you’ve obviously gone down the people management route i think there are still opportunities for for technical experts as well if you got any opinions on you know those two trains of thor the two schools or either going down the people management or the technical yeah i guess my role might be a bit special in that there’s um so under me even though we’re a relatively small company i have a general manager yeah and so he’s very much looking into the business and he’s looking after the people within the business and then under him there’s a method lead for the two key disciplines we have which is basically prototyping yeah and manufacturing yeah so they’re really looking internal to the business at the processes and the team my role is really looking outside so i guess i can answer it from the point of view of within the within the teams and i really think the answer is going to be where do you think your maximum impact is going to be is it going to be in leading a team to to hit that hit those big goals you’re going for is it or is it going to be doing the work and if you are most passionate about doing the work then that is the answer and if you want to if you think you’re going to be better at managing the team you’re going to be passionate about that and that is the end song um but the other thing it’s definitely saying is it’s okay to try both i would say if you were just you’re still saying you know that’s not good enough answer say do technical first because there’s you can definitely tell when you it’s easier to go up and out of technical i think it is then go back the other way i completely agree i think it’s easier to buy into a manager especially in those technical roles who has been there and done it before or has a really good insight into what you’re doing they might not be able to solve it at the same in-depth level as you if you’re in that sort of technical role but to be able to buy into somebody that gets an understanding of what you’re working on yeah is significantly easier you’ve got to you’ve got to live the life you’ve felt the pain yeah yeah sorry to really understand yeah oh man i agree so you see obviously down that that route now how do you manage the day though is there still i you know there’s still a lot of responsibilities you may mention um you move into the g suite uh is there any tools within that are there any other software tools you use to describe productivity or to manage your day the big the big problem we’ve had is teaming up meetings with people for me now talking to people yeah and so a really simple cheap tool out there that is worth its weight in gold calendar lee yeah or any of those calendar booking systems i i use calendly it’s i reckon it saves i i have maybe 10 meetings a week and i reckon every week it saves three hours of just back ping-ponging emails around and uncertainty and frustration so that’s probably my favorite one yeah i agree from a learning’s perspective you obviously did a university degree you’ve hired a number of people now and you said you’ve got a really strong technical team is there any further learnings that you you and your company sort of buy into or anything you would recommend so outside of the university degree other forms of learning that you would recommend for people there’s a lot of value in those short courses online yeah and a lot of value in picking a particular tool you want to use if you’re in the physical engineering space say an electronics design package or a plc programming language that has a really good hardware backup or something like that and just becoming the guy in that yeah because if you can become really good at those things then somebody will need that skill so you’ll be valuable and that kind of gets a bit more diluted in the pure software world because there is a lot of tools out there because there’s not a lot of barriers to entry um for it whereas in the hardware world there’s a few less choices so it’s talking hardware there’s a lot of tools to really good stuff out there pick the one that’s kind of probably got the most chatter around it um and
sorry what online providers would you would you recommend for for those short courses we’ve had good success using the udemy stuff yeah and that’s probably the main one yeah the in the micro controllers world any of the big manufacturers often provide serious training materials yeah and the reason they do is because they want people to buy into their product ecosystem yeah and if it to me a manufacturer that doesn’t have a strong learning environment around it isn’t worthy of your time so don’t choose them if it’s hard don’t do it pick the one that’s just going to tell you the answer yeah there’s no prizes for struggling i i completely agree i think that’s a really good comment as well no that sounds great how you put you’d recommend people to continue with you know becoming that expert in a field or just picking up short for short training short training and hands-on stuff yeah you know for people coming out of uni right now there’s the biggest problem we see is practical skills yeah tafe offers courses there seems a bit of a stigma around tafe being lower than the university the stats are robotic systems right now the majority of people have come through tafe and university yep nobody has come through just a plain university degree because they’re typically useless on the ground yeah yeah i think tafe does have a different offering as well when it comes to more practical skills and it does have a good reputation for you know that practical capability of practical learning uh and especially in your space as you said you are very hands-on roles right yeah absolutely there’s well for us as a small business we don’t really have a lot of we don’t have that many layers of of stuff right you’ve got to be able to be a one-stop shop to be able to do something and you need to be able to if you’re writing software you can be writing software on a piece of hardware yeah you need to have a not not to the same level as electrical engineer you need to understand how the electronics work so you’re not going to break stuff for starters you’re not going to write software that’s totally incompatible with the real world yeah mate completely agree outside of those online courses are there are there any books that have really helped shape your career or any any books you’d recommend to others in terms of technical books no not too many technical books outside of technical outside of technical um i’m on a bit of a journey at the moment listening to a lot of different um you know business books as i kind of reframe my thinking around what my job is stealing fire was a great one i read it’s all about getting into the zone yeah which for us as a consultancy is what we’re all about so because we’re selling selling time fundamentally so how do we sell the best hour how do we have the best hour in town so one of the ways we do that is we have very structured days we work early in the mornings so we work 6 a.m to 2 30. yeah why that i’ve seen that in your job ad and i was like well this is interesting i’m really keen i was i was going to ask it but you’ve opened the door 6 00 till 2 pm tell me about it human focus so that’s it’s all about being you’re the sharpest you are the first thing in the morning and we want to sell the best hours of the day and you know as soon as you’ve had lunch afternoons kick in those hours are going to be not so great and so coming back to you know what we ask ourselves is would you buy that and you know would you buy an hour where everybody’s had you know sanvos for lunch and feeling a bit sleepy sitting in the chairs at three o’clock yeah and the answer is no so we bring our day forward and it’s all about the team being able to be more efficient in the day all working together all focused on that time window and and exiting at that time so i don’t allow overtime there’s 30 the whistle blows and it’s like the flintstones you know yeah everybody out um and you know it’ll come back tomorrow and in that time we’re absolutely focused on what it is we’re doing and hit it fresh that’s it fresh and you leave work at 2 30 and these you know in some of the six hours of daylight left so yeah right how have you found how have has that been a challenge in hiring other people that are not inclined to to be up in the fives and saying work at six look it’s not easy to get into i can definitely say that if you’re not that way inclined but there’s it is a requirement for what we do because of that because it is in our dna yeah and i’ve actually never had anybody say they don’t want to do it anymore yeah because the day starts the day ends and that’s it done job done yeah it’s it’s we’ve never had a it’s this great you know there’s definitely pains changing but once you’re in it it’s great yeah nice i just think i’m always interested when you get somebody that does something differently that the reasons why and whether they’ve had that success with it so it’s good good to hear that you are having success with it you mentioned stealing fire and that being because you are reframing your your learning so you’re in a different part start of your career um starting you know your career down more than that management route how have you found the getting back into learning getting back into learning it’s for me i’m over i’m only ever motivated by fear right so i never felt fear at university other than right before the exam yeah that’s when all the work happened and i like robot robotics competition because i gave a clear goal and the fear of not being able to get there so it gave me a lot of motivation so i’ve gotten back into learning because i’ve reframed what i’m thinking about for the leadership role of well i need to be able to deliver this for my team so i need to really be you know that gives me fear yeah i won’t do that and so i is motivate i don’t have any any limitations for motivation it’s the it’s the full day for me of thinking how can i make this a better business for this team to to be effective in nice outside of books and any other podcasts any other forms of learnings that you found really interesting or valuable uh look i’ve listened to this podcast and you know this is this is my favorite one i could have bribery so um yeah but there’s i think we’ve had a lot of value out of um getting the right advice at the right time yeah so getting advice for things you’re not good at you know i when i first started out that you couldn’t have told me that or just said no i’ll figure it out myself yeah there’s no prizes for that chances are whatever you’re doing is probably a sole problem yep you can either struggle and achieve that outcome or you can just cheat and get the answer get the answer where you can uh you’ll definitely save yourself in the long run oh completely agree i’m a massive fan of knowing what you know and be good at that and uh if it’s something that’s not in your sweet spot like outsource it if you can whilst it might cost money uh the the time saving um both physical time actually doing it but also the head space that you have to give that that problem that’s already been solved that’s not your jam um i think if you can actually put a price on that far exceed any any cost you actually pay another agency to do it yeah big time and i mean that’s why who that’s why we get hired right yes to solve that problem for people and and take them to order to want to go as quick as they can yeah man you mentioned you were in sydney before you’re back in newcastle you built your company in newcastle why newcastle so i’m not from newcastle sydney originally um and it was purely because i got a job with oracle yeah and that that kicked it off here and i brought all those other jobs with me hired somebody and that kind of kept growing and growing as time went on so in terms of why newcastle look i’d love to say i had some big you know epiphany about it but i didn’t followed the work yeah there was opportunity here and the reality is now that um you know i live here i own a house here my wife lives here um with me so it’s uh it was also not from newcastle um shout out to oraca yeah shout out to erica bring people and uh so yeah it’s uh that’s that’s yeah that’s it so we’re here now and um yeah the the team’s getting bigger so i don’t think we’re going to be going anywhere anytime soon that’s phenomenal it’s always it’s always good to hear of big organizations that help foster the growth of smaller organizations like not only do big organizations uh employ a lot of people locally but as i said like those agencies that thrive and work with them and can grow and then employ more people so the flow and effect of of their successes is great it’s absolutely critical um how many companies particularly um you know the big ones there’s a lot of people orbiting that people building vehicles big large mechanical structures yeah electronics and software is a new side of things in town but behind that you’ll see a lot of the old industry stuff you know sheet metal bangers that sort of stuff they’re all orbit these main manufacturers and it’s critical to have them as part of the of the pool yeah mate it’s been really insightful for me to hear again about another local newcastle success story is there any other anything else you’d like to share with the community before we wrap things up probably not directly a risk of talking too much off the cuff so yeah i’d say get out there and support your local meet-ups i think newcastle has a disproportionate number of meet-ups for the size of the town yeah um you know we want to keep that going it’s hard right now with all the corona stuff so now the online stuff is as good as it’s going to be for now yeah when it comes back we’ll come back harder exactly yeah so yeah mate thanks again for your time thanks for the advice you provide the community and again really uh happy to hear of both your success and the success that robotic systems thank you so much for having me cheers thank you you