Western Sydney’s $36 million zoo of the futu...

Western Sydney’s $36 million zoo of the future


What happens when Western Sydney University (WSU) teams up with Sydney Zoo? They set a goal to deliver “one of the most technologically advanced wildlife experiences in the world.”

Western Sydney could be saying hello to a new $36 million cage-free zoo that will aim to utilise intelligent fencing designs across 30 exhibits to deliver an educational and entertaining safari experience. With elevated walkways and boardwalks, the 16.5-hectare site will bring visitors to Western Sydney as well as investment and jobs. Almost 745,000 people are expected to visit the zoo every year, which could open by the end of 2017 if approved.

WSU’s Launch Pad Innovation program will bring tech startups, students, scientists and tech experts together to work on the project. The first step is the Hackathon, which will be held on the 8th April 2016 at the University’s Launch Pad facility at the Werrington Park Corporate Centre. The goal is to generate ideas for visitor experience and management, immersive displays and conservation.

Manager of WSU’s “Launch Pad” program and Zoo Hackathon Coordinator, Don Wright told Gizmodo, “Visitor experience can be enhanced in a number of ways, we are looking at an app that can not only let you know the park schedule and traffic before you arrive, but enable you to order food and give you real time information to where the biggest crowds are while you’re there.”

He also revealed that they are looking at ways to use robotics and potentially having kids operate drones, which cheetahs could chase. The zoo of the future could be just around the corner!

Jess is the lead news editor for Australia Business. When she's not writing and reading about business, she's probably endlessly scrolling through Instagram or downloading apps she may or may not need.