A Message From CEO Sahil Harriram

Author: Sahil Harriram

The last month has been exceptionally eventful for us.

We finally have most of our custom made parts for our test rig and lawnmower and have been busy assembling it. Our test rig will allow us to inexpensively refine our algorithms within our office whilst we make the necessary alterations to the mechanical system of the lawnmower. Speaking of our lawnmower, it’s now alive and cutting grass! See it in action here

In other news we have also started the Icon Accelerator Program run by Slingshot Accelerator in partnership with the University of Newcastle. We are 1 of 6 participants chosen out of over 100 applicants! This program will help get us investor ready allowing us to raise the necessary capital we will need to get our autonomous lawnmowers into our customers hands. Personally, it has been extremely useful to help me direct my team towards short term goals and track our progress week by week. The external accountability to our mentors is also great at keeping us focused on these goals without getting caught up by those tiny distractions that are always lurking around in your peripherals.

We unfortunately had to say goodbye to Luke Dostal our resident Mechanical/Mechatronics engineer as he has headed off to Canada for 6 months. But we are also excited to welcome on board Shion our new Mechanical Engineer that will be Interning with us for the next few months. She will be working closely with Luke (CDO) & Doug (Mechatronics Engineer) to design and build our next larger iteration of our robotic lawnmower and continue to refine and test our current prototype.

My two co-founders and I were privileged to be guest presenters at the UON Computing Society Industry development talk. At this talk we spoke about our experiences in going straight out of university into a startup environment. We shared some of the key insights we have learnt over the last 12 months, including networking, leadership and team management. This was really important to me as I am passionate about encouraging students to consider the skills they have developed at University and how they can transition those skills to add value to the world.

Going into a startup environment has been an exciting yet challenging experience for me. The learning curve is extremely steep and there are so many aspects of it that can only be learnt through experience. I have been VERY fortunate to have been surrounded by so many great mentors that have helped Elite Robotics achieve some early success (Newcastle Herald feature, a NSW Government Press release, mybusiness.com.au). For me, I am always looking for opportunities to pass some of these learnings onto those that are interested in getting involved in this space and this was perfect chance for me to pay it forward.

Change in technology is accelerating at an unprecedented rate and it’s going to be exciting to see what the world of tomorrow will bring with it. For us at Elite Robotics we have only just started on this journey and I can’t wait to share with you what we are going to be up not only through the course of the Icon Accelerator but next year as well.

Sahil Harriram

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