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What's Inside

Directors Message

Centre News 

Member Achievements


Robotics Seminar Series

New Faces

Behind the Scenes

Other Business

Member Publications


Space Gripper

Directors Message

We’re midway through semester and I hope everybody is travelling well.  I find this mode of hybrid teaching tough and I’m sure that’s impacting on everybody else who is teaching or tutoring.  The recent Easter break and long weekend (and one still to go) have helped me get things a bit more under control, I hope it had some restorative magic for you as well. 
There continues to be quite a bit of “space stuff” in my diet at the moment.  If you haven’t already, check out the “space bags” gripper in the manipulation lab, which we will be demonstrating to the Australian Space Agency in June.  See story below. The next frontier for this project is to find a way (money mostly) to get it into space, literally. Many others in the lab are also involved in discussions with various external players about space projects.  Thierry in particular, has spent many weeks this year on another big space proposal, hopefully news on that soon. 
The other developing trend locally is around AI, finally.  A lot of federal funding is going to, or passing through, CSIRO.  One CSIRO initiative is the Next Generation Graduates Program and I gave a keynote talk at an introductory symposium which focused on: AI and emerging technologies in the real world, Ethics in AI and technologies, Autonomous systems, Entrepreneurship and innovation in AI and emerging technologies. 
I’ll be away for a few weeks from mid May, heading to Toronto to visit my daughter, some holiday, and a side trip to Philadelphia for ICRA.  I am fascinated to see what has become of this conference in the post-covid world.  The first robotics conference I ever attended was ICRA in the same city in 1988... 
Enjoy the issue. 

Space Gripper

In the manipulation lab you can see a new gripper, developed in house, for “space bags”. The gripper enables the robot to pop open a buckle on a restraining belt and grab the soft floppy handles. The gripper uses the handle to pull the bag against a plate, rigidising the object and enabling reliable manipulation. The motivating scenario is manipulating cargo transfer bags (CTBs) on the ISS or lunar gateway. Real CTBs are bigger than our astronaut lunch bags, but they are made of cloth and have floppy handles. 

The gripper was designed and built by Ben Burgess-Limerick, Riki Lamont and James Mount; and the code was done by Gavin Suddrey using ARMER, behaviour trees, and the old ACRV interactive demonstrator framework.  ARMER is our new inhouse-developed robot programming platform which is gaining quite an application base, and is also in use at ARMHub for a couple of projects.  It leverages the Python Robotics Toolbox and Swift simulator by Jesse and Peter.

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Centre News

ARC Linkage Grant Success with BHP, $1.4M 

“Finding Porphyry Copper with zircon trace elements & hyperspectral display”, Professor Charlotte Allen; Professor Balz Kamber; CI Michael Milford; Dr Henrietta Cathey; AI Clinton Fookes; Dr Rebecca Perkins; Mr Simon Gatehouse 

ARC funding: $797,827.00 

Industry cash: $600,000+ cash + in-kind 

Robotic Vision Scene Understanding Challenge 2022 

Semantic SLAM and Scene Change Detection for active robot platforms 

Part of CVPR 2022 Embodied AI Workshop 

Prizepool of: 

  $2,500 USD 

  2 x NVIDIA RTX A6000 GPUs 

  Up to 10 NVIDIA Jetson Nanos 

Powered by updated BenchBot platform with new NVIDIA Omniverse simulator 

Register your interest 

Talk to David Hall or Ben Talbot for more details 

Spot the dog 

Congratulations to Marisa Bucolo, Juan Sandino and CI Matt Dunbabin who were featured on Channel 7 News talking about the Spot Mini.

See the 7News video clip here.


ABC Radio Talk  

CI Peter Corke and Ali Buchberger were on ABC Radio National on 7 April talking about “Space race 2.0” as part of a prestigious panel (panel recorded during World Science Festival) .

Listen here


Space Connect Podcast


The Space Connect Podcast interviewed CI Thierry Peynot on 6 April 2022.
 See more here

Member Achievements

Appointment to CASA Board 

Congratulations to Felipe on being appointed to the Civil Aviation Services Authority Board.  This is a highly esteemed position and speaks to Felipe’s expertise in the area. 

Read more about Felipe's achievement here 

Peter’s book saga. One down, one to go! 

The first of the third editions, in Python, was uploaded to Springer on the last day of March and the cover has been finalized.  That’s the culmination of a lot of writing, the book itself, and new Python toolboxes for Robotics (with Jesse), Machine Vision (with Dorian) and Spatial Maths. The other third edition, in MATLAB but using all MathWorks toolboxes, with coauthors Witek and Remo is coming together and should be submitted by the end of May. 

Coincidentally, the project to refactor the second edition into two less thick books finally bore fruit, and I received copies of the books.  I actually did this writing back in 2018/19. 

Completed PhD

Congratulations to Dr Quazi Marufur Rahman who has just been awarded a PhD for his thesis "Performance Monitoring of Deep Learning Vision Systems During Deployment" supervised by Feras Dayoub.   

Maruf is now working for and you can find him on LinkedIn at 


Completed PhD

Congratulations to Dr Marvin Chancán - awarded his PhD in the area of "The Role of Motion-and-Visual Perception in Robot Place Learning and Navigation".


Completed PhD

Congratulations to Dr Gavin Suddrey - awarded his PhD in the area of " Instructing and Training Robots through a Natural Language Dialogue.” 


Accepted Papers

Pittsburgh Learning Classifier Systems for Explainable Reinforcement Learning: Comparing with XCS. J. Bishop, M. Gallagher and W. N. Browne 

Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference GECCO 2022 (CoRE A) 


The agent controls the movement of a character in a grid world. Some tiles of the grid are walkable, and others lead to the agent falling into the water. Additionally, the movement direction of the agent is uncertain and only partially depends on the chosen direction. The agent is rewarded for finding a walkable path to a goal tile. 


Accepted Papers

New Transactions on Robotics (T-RO) paper has been accepted! 

After many rejects, revisions and new experiments since 2019 it has finally been accepted! 

Andrew Razjigaev’s PhD journal paper on designing snake-like robots with evolution algorithms for the RAVEN II surgical robot is finally being published! Hooray! 

Thanks team! AI Ajay Pandey, David Howard, CI Jonathan Roberts and Liao Wu 


Accepted Papers

New Transactions on Cybernetics paper has been accepted! 

Congrats to CI Will Browne! 

Abubakar (Victoria University of Wellington) looks at how identifying components as well as the big picture increases accuracy/robustness in classification tasks. This was demonstrated with ‘toy’ problems to develop the approach, but it is more fun with cats! 

Deep networks (VGG) -  

33% Cat 

Lateralised - 

87% Cat as 

99% Cat mouth 


Peter Corke Documentary Screening 

On 13 April we had a casual screening of Peter’s Documentary filmed by Perfekt Studios. The event was a great success with many present friends and colleagues in attendance.

 If you wish to view the documentary, click here. 

Robotics Seminar Series

Robotics Seminar Series Catch Up

Missed a seminar?  Catch up here.

Date: 29 March 2022 

Title: Presentation of ZOE2 capability, database and future development 

Speaker: Prof Sebastien Glaser 

Download here


Date: 5 April 2022

Graph Neural Networks and Spectral Graph Theory 

Presenter: Dr Dominic Jack, School of Computing and Information Systems, The University of Melbourne 

Download here 


Date: 12 April 2022 

Title: Spiking Neural Networks for Visual Place Recognition via Weighted Neuronal Assignments 

Speaker: Somayeh Hussaini 

Title: Improving Road Segmentation in Challenging Domains Using Similar Place Priors 

Speaker: Connor Malone 

Title: Point Label Aware Superpixels for Multi-species Segmentation of Underwater Imagery 

Speaker: Scarlett Raine 

Download here

Date: 26 April 

Title: Profile Building for the Modern Researcher with the Aid of Technology 

Speaker: Michael Milford 

Download here

New Faces

Welcome to Dr Dan Swan

New Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Australian Cobotics Centre - Dr Dan Swan started on Monday 4 April. 


Welcome to Dr Benjamin Moshirian

New Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Benjamin Moshirian started with QCR on Monday 4 April.
Benjamin Moshirian has just completed his PhD at the University of Technology, Sydney on Aerial Modular Reconfigurable Robots. During the final two years of his PhD, he was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Queensland under the leadership of Associate Professor Pauline Pounds. He has just started at QUT on project “Collaborative Resilient Autonomy for Maritime Uncrewed System” (CI Matt Dunbabin, CI Jason Ford and Dr Troy Bruggemann). 

Behind the Scenes

… with Ilana Bolingford

What do you do in the Centre and what are you currently working on? 
Centre Manager - currently working on this newsletter!
What’s on your desk? 
Lots of paper and pens, a succulent, photos of my cats, tissues and multiple forms of caffeine 
How would you describe your work to a child? 
I work with a lot of people who do work with robots  
Three words to describe your work? 
Busy, challenging, and interesting 
What’s your dream travel destination? 
England and Ireland or maybe New York. I’ve only been to New Zealand 
I’m currently reading 
I have almost finished the Productivity Project by Chris Bailey. About to start Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown  
And currently wishing ...
I could be at home with my cats Bella, Violet, and Maggie 
My last meal would be 
Pizza but the fancy kind not Dominos. Also, a good craft beer 
Final question!  Tea, coffee or no caffeine? 
Anything caffeinated is good  
Who do you nominate for next month? 
Dasun Gunasinghe 
Other Business

Student Travel 

If you are planning on using your HDR funds for travel, you will need to contact Jo Kelly in the School to get confirmation on your balance before you request approval to travel. 

Once your travel is approved you will need to complete a Student Visitor Payment Claim form (see attached) and email to Jo who will then check the approved amount of your travel and arrange for the amount to be deposited directly into your personal bank account.  

You will then be able to book and pay for your travel using QUT’s travel provider CTM.  

Info on Wiki here 


Industry Engagement 

QUT Excolo! is designed for QUT researchers to drive increased impact from QUT research 

The Office of Industry Engagement has launched an exciting new program designed to cultivate and develop QUT ideas, concepts, innovations, technologies, and services to create real world impact. 

QUT Excolo! is an innovation pitching competition created to support QUT researchers to enhance their knowledge, experience and engagement with the process of research commercialisation and other alternative pathways to create impact from research.  

Winning teams will receive prize funding of $20,000 each plus the overall winner will receive an additional $30,000.  

Research teams can participate in QUT Excolo! activities and events and register their interest online by 30 June 2022. For more information go to the competition site here 


Editing Fund- Do you need a paper edited? 

QCR has purchased some editing services from Elite Editing 

Criteria to access the QCR editing fund:  

  • QCR CI   

  • QCR HDR student  

  • QCR Post-doc or Research Fellow 

  • Paper must be submitted to one of the journals/conferences on the approved list 

Please see the wiki for further information 

Member Publications


Thesis G Suddrey - 2022 "Instructing and Training Robots through a Natural Language Dialogue".

Gavin_Suddrey_Thesis.pdf ( 


Link Layer Connectivity as a Service for Ad-Hoc Microservice Platforms 

LF Gonzalez, I Vidal, F Valera, DR Lopez - IEEE Network, 2022 

An Open-Source Visual Place Recognition Evaluation Framework with Quantifiable Viewpoint and Appearance Change 

M Zaffar, S Garg, M Milford, J Kooij, D Flynn – International Journal of Computer Vision  


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