Students showcase innovation at the Grand Prix

Students showcase innovation at the Grand Prix

The Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix returned to Melbourne for the first time since 2019. We spoke to the RMIT students involved.

Racing fans were back in droves for the Formula 1 Grand Prix, with RMIT’s innovations on display for racing and technology enthusiasts.

From virtual reality experiences to custom built electric race cars, students stood proudly alongside their creations.

Here are some highlights from the Tech Hub and the Grand Prix precinct.

Rosie the Robot

Rosie the Robot is a VR experience that explores the challenges of sending a robot to do what humans can't do.

Rosie was on display in the RMIT Tech Hub on all four days at the Grand Prix, treating people to a glimpse of innovation at RMIT.

Student Jack Belcher built the software to run Rosie the Robot and provided insight into what makes her tick.

“The big challenge here is having the computer connected to Rosie and the computer we’ve put under a desk to talk to each other,” he said.

“We need all the information about Rosie, such as where the hands are, where the arms are and what she is looking at.”

Jack said it then takes some 'wild mathemagic' on converting real world space to virtual space.

“We then bring all of that information over to the computer and reconstruct that in virtual reality piece by piece.”

Three people standing around a red and black virtual reality robot Rosie the Robot was on display in the Tech Hub

Electric Racing

RMIT Electric Racing was built on the success of over a decade of RMIT racing, a small team of interested students and staff at RMIT set out to prove that they could produce a simple, electric counterpart for the combustion vehicle competition.

Team Leader Kristian Ilievski said that the Grand Prix provides an incredible opportunity to show to public their innovations.

“Being at the RMIT Tech Hub at the Grand Prix is an awesome experience for us to show off what we do here at RMIT Electric Racing.” he said.

“It’s a great chance to show just exactly what we are, our innovations in the motorsport world and in the car world as a whole.”

The team displayed their 2019 car, the R19e which is currently powered by a single electric motor which can go from 0-100km in around three seconds with a top speed of 125 kilometres per hour.

“In something this small, 125 kilometres per hour is a rocket. You’ll never experience anything like it.”

A new car expected to be ready later this year.

RMIT Electric Racing 2019 car The R19e, built by the Electric Racing team, has a top speed of 125km/ph

Georgina Marshall – Live Fast

Bachelor of Fashion (Design) students researched, designed and created a collection of outfits and supporting elements, focusing on the Grand Prix themes and their new ‘Live Fast’ Campaign.

Georgina Marshall’s garment was on display among others at the Grand Prix in a glass activation cube for the duration of the event.

Inspired by the octopus due to its adaptability, Georgina’s project, ‘Intergalacitc Mechanica’, used fashion and technology to encompass the feeling of being one with the technology around us.

“Intergalactic Mechanica is an exploration of adaption and what it means to live fast in the current and future worlds,” she said.

“Aesthetically Intergalactic Mechanica took inspirations from celebrities such as Doja Cat and Ariana Grande, who are embracing technology and have a focus on sci-fi elements in their aesthetic, infiltrating spaces which are stereotypically seen as masculine."

“Formula 1 is such an icon for technology, change and performance so to have my work displayed means so much to me.”

Georgina Marshall displaying an octopus inspired wearable garment Georgina Marshall's Grand Prix themed garment, Intergalactic Mechnica

Madi Bickerton – Girls on Track

VE student Madi Bickerton is studying the Advanced Diploma of Mechanical Engineering.

Madi was invited by Motorsports Australia to participate in a “girls on track” program, that encourages emerging women in motorsport to peruse their passions within fields such as engineering.

She’s one of only 20 women across the country who was asked to attend a networking lunch at the Grand Prix.

RMIT is proud of Madi's achievement as she chases her ambition of working in the industry.

Story: Mark Moffat

11 April 2022


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RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.