CSIRO launches new robotics laboratory

CSIRO has launched a new robotics innovation centre in Queensland to underpin fast developing robotics and automation industries.

CSIRO’s Data61’s 600 square metre facility will help develop what is set to be a $23 billion sector globally by 2025.

Data61 said the facility would boast capabilities ranging from legged robots and 3D mapping through to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs).

Fred Pauling, Robotics and Autonomous Systems group leader 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.

“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.”

One project underway is the testing of technology to rapidly map, navigate, and search underground environments funded by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

The centre houses the biggest motion capture system in the Southern Hemisphere, used to validate data collected by robotics systems.

It also features a 13x5m pool for testing aquatic robots, plus field-deployable UAVs and UGVs, legged robots, and high-accuracy robot manipulators and sensors.

Adrian Turner, CEO at CSIRO’s Data61, said the centre would help unlock new value in all manner of sectors including manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare and mining.

“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.”

Picture: CSIRO

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