The Development of Field Robotics in Australia

Hugh Durrant-Whyte
ARC Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems (CAS)
The University of Sydney, Australia
hugh@cas.edu.au

Abstract

This talk will describe research and development of field robotics technologies and applications at the Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems (CAS). Australia is characterised by its large landmass, low population and relative geographic remoteness. These features make Australia ideally suited to the development of large-scale outdoor field robotics in applications such as mining, agriculture, cargo handling, and defence. Research at CAS is focussed on four areas; perception, control, learning and systems. In this talk, we will particularly highlight work in perception where we have developed a range of sensing and navigation technologies applicable to field-robotics applications including use of mm-wave radar, and composite sensors, the development of GPS-denied navigation methods, and networked data fusion algorithms. CAS has a substantial team working on the development of civilian field robotics applications. This talk will describe two significant applications in cargo handling and in surface mining where large-scale robots developed by the Centre are now operating commercially in Australia. CAS is also involved in a number of defence robotics applications; in air, land and sub-sea domains. This talk will describe a key series of projects supported by BAE Systems, UK MOD, and US Air Force aimed at demonstrating cooperative data fusion strategies for mixed air-ground platforms.

Biography

Hugh Durrant-Whyte received the B.Sc. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of London, U.K., in 1983, and the M.S.E. and Ph.D. degrees, both in Systems Engineering, from the University of Pennsylvania, U.S.A., in 1985 and 1986, respectively. From 1987 to 1995, he was at the University of Oxford, U.K. In 1995 he became Professor of Mechatronic Engineering at University of Sydney and established the Australian Centre for Field Robotics. In 2002 he was awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Federation Fellowship. He also now leads the ARC Centre of Excellence in Autonomous Systems. His research work focuses on autonomous vehicle navigation and decentralised data fusion methods. His work in applications includes automation in cargo handling, mining, defence, and marine systems. He has published over 300 technical papers and has won numerous awards and prizes for his work. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and an IEEE Robotics Society Distinguished Lecturer and a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE)

Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems: A Guided Tour in Bio-inspired Robots

Jean-Arcady Meyer
AnimatLab
Labroratoire d'Informatique de Paris
6, 8 rue du Capitaine Scott
75015 Paris

Abstract

After having reviewed some of the fascinating automata that paved the way to modern bio-inspired robotics, I will successively describe several robots with bio-inspired morphologies, sensors, and actuators. Then, I will mention control architectures that, beyond mere reflexes, implement cognitive abilities -- like memory or planning -- or adaptive processes -- like learning, evolution and development. Finally, I will also touch on related works on energetic autonomy, collective robotics, and biohybrid robots.

Biography

Jean-Arcady Meyer is the director of the AnimatLab in Paris. He is the founder of the journal Adaptive Behavior and a former Director of the International Society for Adaptive Behavior. He is also on the Founding Board of Directors of the International Society for Artificial Life. He was the main organiser, or co-organiser, of the series of nine international conferences on Simulation of Adaptive Behavior. He also organised two international summer schools on Adaptive Systems and Simulation. Jean-Arcady Meyer is mostly interested in designing animats -- i.e., simulated animals or real robots -- that are able to adapt to changing environments through biomimetic processes of learning, development and evolution. His main concern is the study of how these processes interact in nature and how they may be put at work in artificial systems.