View this email in your browser
A monthly newsletter by the QUT Centre for Robotics
October 2021 Table of Contents

Directors Message
Newsletter Information
Centre News & Achievements
HDR Internship News
Past Events
Robotics Seminar Series Catch up
Regular Events
Behind the Scenes
HDR Internship Opportunities
Competition & Awards
Collaborations, Grants & Projects
Publication Highlights

Directors Message

Welcome to newsletter number 2.  It was my ambition since QCR started to have internal and external newsletters, and both of these are now off and running.  See the article below for information about our external newsletter.

The QUT Centre survey saw our Centre receive a very high score as well as a number of very positive comments about the way the Centre operates, and a few areas for improvement. Last week we had one of the regular Centre management committee meetings, with Firuz (head of school) and Ana (FoE Dean).  That committee is clearly very happy with our Centre, there was great discussion, and some further actions.  The job of the Centre exec (Michael, Jason, Niko, Peter and Ilana) and the Centre’s portfolio leads (all the other CIs) is to continually refine the way we operate for the benefit of all while adapting to changes in the broad environment we operate in.  Feel free to contact any of the exec at any time about any concerns you might have, or improvements you think we could make.  

The rest of the newsletter shows, again, the breadth and quality of your collective achievement.

Enjoy the issue.


Newsletter Information

External Newsletter 

Every quarter we are sending a newsletter to external contacts as a way of building our profile and engagement with industry and government.  If you’d like to know what we are saying about you (and the Centre) you can view that newsletter here: 

You are welcome to sign up yourself if you like, there is a signup link in the newsletter.  If you have contacts you would like to share this with, please forward the link and invite them to signup as well. 

Link to sign up 

Internal Newsletter archive 

We might be getting ahead ourselves since this is only edition 2, but we have created an archive of newsletters on the Wiki.  You can find it here: 

Centre News & Achievements

CSIRO/DATA61 + Emesent DARPA 2nd Place 

PhD student Brendan Tidd was recently part of Team CSIRO Data61 who placed second in the US Government research agency DARPA’s Subterranean Challenge. See more on this here

CRC Association’s 2020 Award presented to Urban Art Projects, Queensland University of Technology and RMIT University. 

Innovative Manufacturing CRC (IMCRC) congratulates its ‘Design Robotics for Mass Customisation’ team on winning the Cooperative Research Centre Association’s 2020 Award for Excellence in Innovation.  Presented at this year’s Cooperative Research Australia (CRA) Collaborate Innovate 2021 conference, the award recognises outstanding examples of research collaboration that address industry-specific problems for the benefit of Australian industry and the economy.  With funding from IMCRC, in 2017, Brisbane-based design and manufacturing company Urban Art Projects (UAP) embarked on an $8 million design robotics research project in partnership with Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and RMIT University (RMIT).  QUT Associate Professor Jared Donovan, who accepted the award on behalf of the Design Robotics team, thanked all participants for their contributions to the project. 

Sourav Garg had a paper accepted to CoRL2021 as an oral (6.5% acceptance rate): SeqMatchNet: Contrastive Learning with Sequence Matching for Place Recognition & Relocalisation.

Congratulations to Dr Justin Matthew Kenny for being awarded his PhD for his research, “Wave-Induced Marine Craft Motion Estimation and Control”.

Congratulations to Dorian Tsai new QCR Seminar Coordinator! 
And Huge Thank You to David Hall for doing an awesome job for 2.5 years! 
Congratulations to Dr Dimity Ann Miller for being awarded her PhD for her research, "Epistemic Uncertainty Estimation for object detection in open-set conditions".

Congratulations to Gavin Suddrey on his final PhD seminar on Friday 17 September. His topic is - Instructing and Training Robots through a Natural Language Dialogue. 

Program videos  


QCR now has a set of dynamic feature videos developed by Dahlitz Media Perfekt Studios.  They highlight the work of our research programs: Physical interactionPerception and localisationVisual learning and understanding and Decision and control.   

Click the links above to view the videos.  Please feel free to share links to these videos with colleagues or industry contacts. 

QCR T shirts – Order Now 

We are putting together a T-Shirt order for all QCR members – we hope to have these available to
hand out before the end of the year. 

Please place your orders – here.  Orders are due by 4 November COB. 

See images and sizing below 

Women’s sizing blue / purple 

Size Guide 


S (8) 

M (10) 

L (12) 

XL (14) 

2XL (16) 

Half Chest (cm) 






Body Length (cm) 






Mens sizing – blue / purple 


S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL, 5XL 

Size Guide 




Body Width (cm) 






Body Length (cm) 








QUT Survey 

Thank you for your feedback - we hear you! 

Key Points in the survey where:

  • QCR highly rated, well above the QUT centre average for all 14 questions. 
  • 4.55 / 5 average for QCR 
  • QUT Centre means ranged from 2.74 to 4.81 
  • High response rate 
  • Key positive comments focused on: 
  • Culture, communication, flattish hierarchy, respect, leadership 

 Graphical user interface, applicationDescription automatically generated

Key areas of interest to focus on: 

  • ECR (especially fixed term staff) development and career progression 

  • (More) mentorship and sponsorship from senior staff 

  • Best practice and valuing of diversity 

  • Industry engagement 

ApplicationDescription automatically generated

HDR Internship News

We interviewed Robert Lee about his Google Internship.  See interview below: 

Where did you do your internship? 

I'm currently an AI Resident with X, the moonshot factory (formerly Google X). I'm working on The Everyday Robot Project. Due to the pandemic, I'm working remotely (from home). 

What do you enjoy most about the experience? 

So far, I've particularly enjoyed the opportunity to work with and learn from an amazing team of roboticists on a really interesting project. I've been able to witness first hand the exciting challenges of getting robots to operate in real human environments. 

How did you get the internship? 

I simply applied on the X website here!  

What advice would you give to others who are wanting to pursue an internship? 

I would recommend just applying for several and giving it your best shot! There are many opportunities out there for PhD students and it's a great experience.

Past Events

Marist Ashgrove Tour

Somayeh Hussaini hosted a tour for Marist College Ashgrove for 20 of their year 11 students on Tuesday 12 October. We asked Somayeh how the tour went "It was a great experience to host my first tour of QCR for the Marist College last week. The students were very interested in what we do. They were engaged in the conversations we had throughout the tour. They asked a lot of questions some of which I didn’t have the answers for. I have already sought for answers to better prepare myself for possible future tours. I hope they enjoyed the tour as much as I did while presenting to them."

STEM Camp Event

Last month the Young Accelerators team delivered the Future You STEM Summit (formerly STEM Camp) to year 11 and 12 students in Brisbane and Townsville. Each event gave the school students the opportunity to work with QUT researchers and students on practical projects for a taste of university life and future careers. Big thanks to Peter Corke who led two robotics sessions during the week, and Michael Milord who shared his insights an knowledge in a Q&A session on the topic ‘Science is Critical to Australia’s future’.

Workshop by Hugh Kearns

On Friday 1 October Hugh Kearns presented a workshop Managing Time: Managing Yourself: Managing Others.  Tobi Fischer has given his thoughts on the workshop:
Working smart, saying no, and get started. Those were my three key takeaways from Hugh Kearns' talk earlier this month. One Friday we learned about "Managing: Time, Self, Others". Hugh's presentation style was fantastic and engaging as always. He nicely pictured what happens to a 168 hour week when trying to squash in too many things, and the many breakout opportunities allowed us to practise the theory straightaway. Hugh also triggered us to think about our 1, 3 and 5 year plans, and how to best achieve them. Other topics included the student-supervisor relationship and how it changes throughout the PhD studies. Overall we had a great turnout, and hopefully many of the great materials that were provided alongside the presentation will see use in the next weeks, months and years to come within QCR.  We have five books  available that have been written by Hugh Kearns (see list below).  Please come and see Ilana or Vicki if you wish to borrow any of them.

Defeating Self-Sabotage - getting your PhD finished
Time for Research - Time Management for academics, researchers and research students
Supervising PhD Students - a practical guide and toolkit
The Seven Secrets of highly successful research students
Turbocharge your Writing - How to become a prolific academic writer

Robotics Seminar Series Catch up

Missed a seminar? Catch up here.

Seminars from 28 September 2021 to 19 October 2021

Debate Session 

Date - 28 September 2021 

Presenter Thierry Peynot 


The Basics of Trello 

Date – 5 October 2021 

Presenter David Hall 


Intro to Differentiable Physics and Singularity 

Date – 12 October 2021 

Presenter Jack Collins 


Reactive Mobile Manipulation 

Date – 19 October 2021 

Presenter Jess Haviland 

Regular Events

HDR Catchup Morning Tea

Jesse and Scarlett have started a fortnightly informal catchup in person – first catchup was on Thursday 21 October at 10am and was held in the Cantina. It was a chance to connect with new and existing HDR’s and make sure everyone knows each other (even find out if people are working on similar projects). Students were able to share what they were up to and receive and give feedback to fellow peers. This event will be held every fortnight so next catchup will be Thursday 4 November at 10am.