Data61 launches Robotics Innovation Centre in Queensland

By on 12 March, 2019

CSIRO-owned entity opens purpose-built research facility for robotics and autonomous systems.

The 600 square metre facility contains an open air UAV flying area, a 13 x 5-metre pool for testing AUVs, and the largest motion capture system in the Southern Hemisphere, used to validate data collected by robotics systems.

According to Fred Pauling, leader of the Robotics and Autonomous Systems group at Data61, the centre represents a major expansion of research infrastructure for a market that is projected to be worth $23 billion bu 2025.

“Our robots are already being used to safely inspect and create 3D maps of underground mines, monitor biodiversity in the Amazon Rainforest and navigate difficult terrain in emergency situations,” he said.

“The new centre expands our research infrastructure to develop highly autonomous robotics systems that can interact safely and seamlessly with humans and other dynamic agents, in challenging indoor and outdoor environments.”

The centre will take a lead role in testing technology to quickly and efficiently map, navigate and search underground environments as part of DARPA’s subterranean challenge, further developing technology commercialised as Emesent.

The centre also contains a ‘significant’ number of number of legged robots, UGVs (unmanned ground vehicles), telemetry and sensor systems, and high accuracy  robotic manipulators.

Adrian Turner, CEO at CSIRO’s Data61, referred to the new centre as a national asset that would provide unique collaboration opportunities for industry, government and academia.

“Robotics and autonomous systems technologies, underpinned by machine learning and artificial intelligence, will unlock new value in all manner of sectors including manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare and mining,” he said.

“By creating a cohesive approach to robotics R&D through closer collaboration, supported by world-class facilities like the Robotics Innovation Centre, we can ensure Australia is well placed to benefit from Industry 4.0 and help to protect and accelerate our nation’s ongoing economic success.”

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