Dr Sue Keay


8:36 mins

Dr. Sue Keay

Research director

Dr. Sue Keay

Research director

June 2020

Dr Sue Keay is a robotics expert and Research Director who is leading the Australian efforts in developing innovative, cutting edge robotics.

If you’re wondering what is in store for robotics in Australia, then Sue would be your go-to person. In 2018 she wrote the first-ever robotics road map that articulated how advances in robotics, computer vision, sensing and AI will impact every sector of the Australian economy.

Over the years Sue has made international waves by setting up the first Robotics Vision Research Centre which involved more than 100 researchers worldwide. The centre’s disruptive technology pushed the boundaries for what was only previously imagined, whereby robots can both see and understand their environment.

In her current role, Sue heads out CSIRO’s robotics hub, CSIRO’s Data61 Cyber-Physical Systems program overseeing the research, design and engineering behind some of the most impressive robotic development for the most challenging scenarios.

Sue is passionate about pursuing new technologies with integrity by addressing meaningful problems in the market and putting people before profit.



8:36 mins
Dr. Sue Keay
Dr Sue Keay

Fear of robots is really fear of the unknown, but when people have the opportunity to interact with robots, very few people fear robots after that opportunity… Once you actually meet a robot and discover how limited they are it takes a lot of the fear away.

Dr Sue Keay portrait smiling at CSIRO Data 61Data power voltageCSIRO Data 61Dr Sue Keay created robotics roadmapGhost robotics legged robotDr Sue Keay testing and giving instructions to the teamTiny robot walking legsDr Sue Keay Robotics, sensing, cybernetics. Csiro Data 61Dr Sue Keay picking and selecting materialDr Sue Keay testing AI robot wheelsDr Sue Keay explaining how a robotic arm worksDr Sue Keay
Dr Sue Keay in the lab

Robusty Notes

Sue’s story is a compelling one, with only 10% female participation in robotics, she is not just working in the field, she is leading and creating serious impact! Get it Sue 😀

As we walked through the CSIRO facilities we started to understand the sheer amount of research and man-power required to develop such world-class technologies. Under one roof there was an array of disciplines all collaborating to solve some of the greatest challenges the human race is currently facing. No doubt a thrilling and daunting undertaking to be apart of.

Thanks to futuristic, sci-fi films like ‘Terminator’, ‘Blade Runner’, and ‘I, Robot’, where we simple human always seem to be over-thrown by elite humanoid robots there is some understandable confusion and even fear surrounding what the future of robotics may look like.

But, what is true is the fact that robots have been used for decades within fundamental industries such as agriculture and manufacturing, security, and the medical industry. Just because we don’t see them in our homes or our cities doesn’t mean those intelligent machines aren’t already part of our daily lives.

We think the future of robotics looks bright, and we’re excited to see how robots will impact some of our most topical issues surrounding the environment and climate change.
Sue’s work is committed to evolving robots that see and understand, communicate and aid humans. Using robots as a tool to unlock human potential, modernise the economy, and build national health, well-being and sustainability. A worthy path and we are in good hands.

Sue Keay is equally impressive and knowledgeable as she is humble, friendly and relatable. We were thrilled to get an insider view of what is happening in robotics in Australia! Thank you!

Dr Sue Keay - Director of Research cyber physical systems

Photography: Renee Brazel

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