The Robotic Terrain Vehicle program focuses on design and control of land robots. We have designed a variety of robots and diverse kinds of robotic equipment, and some of these designs are actually used and developed by students throughout our undergraduate degree B.Eng.(Robotics).

We also work with simulated robots and a variety of sensors, exploring how best to allow teams of people and robots to work together – this area of “Robot Teaming” is active collaboration with DSTO. Robotic planning using Artificial Intelligence, Computional Intelligence, Machine Learning, Neural Network and Evolutionary Computation techniques, object detection and recognition using sonar, infrared and vision, as well as innovative wireless and hybrid communications systems, all form part of the technology we develop and deploy and involve collaboration across CSEM research centres and programs.

The face of our robots is based on our Thinking Head and allows us to explore the role of facial and vocal expression in communication between robots and their operators and observers.

Evolutionary Robotics

The AI Lab and the Cognitive Science Group use Intelligent Robots to explore the nature and origin of human language and our understanding of the world. This involves developing real, simulated and hybrid robot environments and exploring how the robots interact with each other and with their human companions. Our approach to natural language learning is inherently unsupervised and strongly grounded.  Meaning in the end comes down to what is significant for us in the real world! Evolutionary Robotics is about allowing robots to interact with each other and self-organize their own representations and means of communication about their environment, including determining what is important to them and what is not. With human-like robots or heads, we can also explore the interaction of robots with humans in the real world, with our associated social, cultural and linguistic conventions – here we are looking to evolve linguistic and ontological models that test particular bioplausible models of language evolution and acquisition, as well as to bootstrap improved speech and language communication capabilities, including both more natural audiovisual speech and more accurate understanding of audiovisual speech and its nuances of emotion and expression.

Recent successes

MAGICIAN - Multiple Autonomous Ground-robotic International Challenge by Intelligent Adelaide Navigators (2009-2010), $110K (US Airforce Research Laboratory grant FA2386-10-4024) + $140K (partner sponsorship) = $240K. The Flinders University led team was a finalist in the MAGIC 2010 Grand Challenge, with partners including University of Western Australia, Edith Cowan, Thales Australia, Illiarc, SICK, Logitech, Allied Data Systems, Real-Time Innovations, Xsens, RF Innovations, Axis Communications and Internode.

People involved

The research group includes the following staff and postgraduate members:
  • Dr Nasser Asgari - Principal Investigator and Contact Person
  • Prof David Powers - Principal Investigator
  • Sherry Randhawa - Principal Investigator
  • Dr Richard Leibbrandt - Principal Investigator
  • Dr Jimmy Li - Principal Investigator
  • Dr Martin Luerssen - Associate Investigator
  • A/Prof Karl Sammut - Principal Investigator
  • Ken Treharne - Postgraduate Researcher
  • Tom Anderson - Postgraduate Researcher
  • Adham Atyabi - Postgraduate Researcher

Opportunities exist for both collaboration and postgraduate research. For more information, please contact the program leaders or for more general information please contact Prof David Powers.

More information

For more information about the School's research programs, the opportunities for higher degree study and scholarship information please see the appropriate pages.