NSW startup goes from garage to global

Media release | 26 February 2019

Sydney startup RoboHelix has captured the attention of Germany’s engineering masters and is providing a boost to NSW manufacturing after developing the world’s first robotic machine for making augur and drill screw segments.

Mechatronic engineers David Gardner and Hayel Smair developed their robotic machine from a garage but now with the help of the NSW Government they are exporting it to large companies in Germany, the US and the Netherlands.

“The NSW Government-backed Jobs for NSW has been there from the start providing RoboHelix with a $15,000 Minimum Viable Product grant to develop its prototype,” Jobs for NSW CEO Nicole Cook said.

“Now RoboHelix is exporting internationally and Jobs for NSW has backed the company’s further expansion with a further $100,000 Building Partnerships grant.

“This is a fantastic example of Jobs for NSW helping an advanced manufacturing startup become a high-growth business of the future.”

Mr Gardner said the revolutionary RoboHelix technology automates the production of screw segments for drills and augurs, otherwise known as ‘flights’.

“The production of flights has not changed for 100 years so we have disrupted a worldwide industry with our technology that accurately shapes metal discs into drills and augurs used for construction, mining, livestock and food processing industries.

“We first started testing concepts in a Carlingford garage in 2016 and I still clearly remember the moment we had a spark of inspiration at 2am one morning.

“We did a test run and couldn’t believe how well it worked – at that moment we knew we were on to something incredible.

“Once we received our Jobs for NSW grant we made a working prototype. We did a feature video on YouTube and it captured worldwide attention straight away.

“We had immediate interest from a major company in Germany which gave us a contract to purchase the technology, and not long after we secured another contract from a multinational company in the US.

“We now have 19 inventive claims on an international patent for our technology.”

Mr Gardner said Jobs for NSW had been crucial to the company’s success.

“It’s very challenging to go from working in your garage to exporting globally so we’re hugely grateful to Jobs for NSW for supporting us through our initial stages and now our expansion which has been critical,” he said.

“RoboHelix has partnered with NSW businesses Medina Engineering, Laser Wizard and StripCo to produce our robotic machines and we have also hired three new staff and now look forward to growing into the future.”

Founders David Gardner and Hayel Smair in their garage