In between South Bank Station and Little Big House, a humanoid robot who goes by Pepper is hanging out with humans of all ages and providing the ultimate selfie experience for free.

Developed by Softbank Robotics and used by QUT bluebox to create several ground-breaking innovations, Pepper is one of many technologies at South Bank’s Grey Street for Tech.NXT, one of the biggest and longest pop-up displays of technologies. The community event was launched on the 30th anniversary of Brisbane Expo 88 and runs till 10 December 10am to 4pm.

Tech.NXT is a roving, six-week exhibit of technologies at the forefront of industries including retail, arts and culture, education, science, automotive and military. The event is coordinated by EV Leap, in partnership with collaborators Flight Centre, Anthony John Group (Emporium Hotel), Knight Frank, Griffith Uni School of Arts Film School and School of Design, Konica Minolta, Illuminated Industries and SoftBank.

EV Leap CEO David Burkett said Tech.NXT enables the community to experience Brisbane’s well-earned reputation as a hot spot for tech innovation ever since Expo 88, which put Brisbane on the map with its Leisure in the Age of Technology exhibition. “Queensland’s overtaken Victoria in the number of tech start-ups. We’re the second largest start-up hub in Australia,” David said. “Tech.NXT is about celebrating our thriving entrepreneur, start-up and tech innovation scene – and enabling everyone to experience these groundbreaking technologies, first-hand. It’s about showcasing emerging technologies with start-ups, scale-ups and some of the most innovative companies in Australia, recapturing the spirit of Expo 88.”

QUT bluebox Chief Entrepreneur in Residence Dr Tim Mactaggart helped launch the event at its VIP night on Tuesday 30 October. “For many, the tech industry can feel foreign, threatening or overwhelming, but the more accessible we make it to the community, the more we help everyone benefit from the incredible opportunities it will bring to individuals, workplaces, and our economy,” Tim said. “We have an incredible opportunity to be a part of shaping the technologies set to define our future. Through events like Tech.NXT, we’re making it more available, showing people the future is here, on our doorstep, and we can all be part of it.”

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