Intelligent robotics, mechatronics and automated manufacturing
Monash's robotics and vision work is known the world over, especially for combining sophisticated computer algorithms with multiple types of sensor on novel hardware platforms, to create robots that are able to understand their environment in a way that they can make intelligent decisions when given new tasks to perform. We have robots equipped with 360-degree vision, laser rangers, 360-degree sonar and odor sensors. Our robots can assist the aged by interpreting their gestures, navigate through disaster sites, burrow underground, rescue divers, fly through the air, swarm like ants, generate maps, interpret changes and build up knowledge of the environment.
Intelligent robotics involves use of artificial intelligence with which to perceive the environment. Intelligent robotics is also about determining which activity has to be performed within the environment to help achieve pre-defined goals. Among the topics that have to be understood regarding intelligent robotics, those such as class inference and pattern recognition play an important role.
We have recently expanded our group with the appointment of Prof. Tom Drummond, from the University of Cambridge, England. Prof Drummond brings an extra dimension of Augmented Reality to the group. Augmented Reality uses robot-vision algorithms to help humans, rather then robots. Mobile computing platforms (your 'phone) can capture images and your commands, then combine them with information from the web, to provide you with relevant information.
We are also using our experience in robot-vision to develop a bionic eye that will aid 80% of clinically-blind patients.
Other exciting areas include:
- Augmented reality, tracking, model-capture, feature matching, simultaneous localization and mapping (Prof. Tom Drummond)
- Navigational algorithms, navigational markers for mobile robots, autonomous mobile robot navigation, ultrasonic localisation and environmental mapping (Prof. Ray Jarvis)
- Ultrasonic sensing, simultaneous localization and mapping, fast digital signal processing, field-programmable gate arrays (Assoc. Prof Lindsay Kleeman)
- Image processing for bionic vision, image size reduction, eye tracking, vision algorithms for fault detection (Dr Wai-Ho Li and Assoc. Prof. Lindsay Kleeman)
- Swarm robotics, odor sensing and communications, burrowing robots, human interfaces (Assoc. Prof Andy Russell)
- Unmanned aeronautical vehicles, autonomous flight control, field-programmable gate arrays (Andrew Price)