Welcome!

Welcome to the Intelligent Robots Group at the Department of Computing, Curtin University!

We are a recently established and growing group dedicated to the development and improvement of the next generation of intelligent machines.

A focus of our work is on machines that can not only perform complex tasks that are beyond the abilities of humans to program, but that can also convey information about the world, explain their actions and justify their decisions in terms that humans can understand.

Advances in sensing and perception, machine learning, autonomous task planning, software engineering, graphics and user interface design will allow the robots and autonomous systems of the future to work alone and alongside humans to solve many of the major challenges facing humanity.

Initiatives        Events        News        People        Projects        Robots


We are in the process of reorganising our web presence so please excuse the odd URLs and somewhat out-of-order timestamps. Also please avoid deep linking as pages will move. If you wish to link to us, please use the main site, http://intelligentrobots.org.


Latest News:


The RoboCupRescue Rapidly Manufactured Robot League advances!

The Intelligent Robots Group has been working with our partners at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the International RoboCup Federation, for a while now on two initiatives: The Open Academic Robot Kit and the RoboCupRescue Rapidly Manufactured Robot League (formerly known as the Confined Space Challenge).

Click HERE for a printable flyer that describes these initiatives in more detail.

We have now finalised the design of the arena and uploaded build instructions! These designs reflect the state of the arena for the upcoming RoboCupRescue International Championship, to be held in Leipzig from the 28th of June.

We demonstrated these initiatives at the recent USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington DC, and the RoboCupJunior USA Championship in New York.

20160414-210443UTC-MiniArena-RKS-ILCE-6300-DSC00840-small

We have also launched a Google Groups mailing list so anyone interested in these initiatives, academic or student, can keep up to date and share their advances. So click, browse, join and introduce yourself!

Seasons Greetings!

We hope all of you are having a relaxing holiday break! All the best for 2016.

SeasonsGreetings2015-email-small

The Intelligent Robots Group in Fukushima

Dr Raymond Sheh from the Intelligent Robots Group will be speaking at the Workshop on Standard Test Method for Response Robots (word doc link), held by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) at the newly opened Naraha Remote Technology Development Center, on the edge of the Fukushima exclusion zone, on the 6th and 7th of November 2015.

As one of two invited international speakers, Dr Sheh will speak about his experience in Engaging the Research Community using Standard Test Methods. Dr Sheh’s experience in this area spans a decade, first through the RoboCup Rescue Robot League and then later in his work with NIST, DHS and DARPA, including the DARPA Robotics Challenge.

DSC07233-proc-small
Dr Raymond Sheh alongside Prof Satoshi Tadokoro from Tohoku University and Mr Adam Jacoff from NIST. The partially complete experimentation building of the Naraha Remote Technology Development Center is visible in the background.

Free public lecture on Intelligent Robots Thursday (20 August 2015)!

This Thursday the 20th of August, I will be presenting a free public lecture on Computer Science and Intelligent Robotics, as part of National Science Week.

Click here for the invitation email.

Event: National Science Week Public Lecture: Rise of the Machines – Intelligent Robotics
Date: Thursday 20 August 2015
Time: 5.15pm for 5.30pm start – 7.30pm
(refreshments served from 6.30.pm – 7.00pm)
Location: Curtin University Resource and Chemistry PrecinctBuilding 500

Curtin University
Kent Street, Bentley

Parking: Parking is available in car park C1, C2 and C3. Please enter via the Manning Road entrance.

Here’s the summary:

Robots have been steadily moving into industry, research, emergency response and healthcare over the last few decades. In our daily lives, robotic toys, pets and vacuum cleaners, join robotic systems embedded in modern cars and smart buildings.

As the field of Computer Science has progressed over the last few decades, so these robots have become more and more intelligent. These advances in intelligence have brought with them considerable advantages as well as new challenges.

As a part of National Science Week 2015, the Intelligent Robots Group at Curtin University would like to invite you to attend a free public lecture on Intelligent Robotics.

In this lecture, Dr Raymond Sheh from the Intelligent Robots Group will lead us on a journey of Computer Science in Intelligent Robotics, through a series of vignettes that cover the recent past, current state and future challenges of this fascinating area.

The lecture will also cover the current work of the Intelligent Robots Group, including some initiatives that bring the research challenges of Intelligent Robots to high schools and the community.

Hope to see you there!

RoboCup Junior Rescue and Open Day

Over two weekends in August, the Intelligent Robots Group showcased its work to the wider Perth community.

During the Curtin University Open Day on the 2nd, the Baxter Research Robot, the RoboCupRescue Confined Space Robotics Challenge and the Open Academic Robot Kit were demonstrated in Building 314.

20150802-133808UTC-OpenDay-RKS-DMC-LX100-P131028620150802-140408UTC-OpenDay-RKS-NEX-7-DSC02250

The following week, the RoboCup Junior Western Australia competition also saw a demonstration of Baxter, the Confined Space Robotics Challenge and the Open Academic Robot Kit. These activities aim to not only inform the community about the work of the Intelligent Robots Group but to also encourage schools in the Perth area to join the second pilot of these initiatives.

20150808-094420UTC-OpenDay-RKS-DMC-LX100-P1310354 20150808-114819UTC-OpenDay-RKS-NEX-7-DSC02368

We would like to thank the teachers and students from Scotch College and Christchurch Grammar School for their assistance in showing off the Open Academic Robot Kit and Confined Space Challenge competitions!

20150808-123914UTC-OpenDay-RKS-DMC-LX100-P1310393

Congratulations rUNSWift!

The Intelligent Robots Group congratulates the Team UNSW Australia (formerly rUNSWift) RoboCup Standard Platform League team on its World Championship win at this year’s RoboCup 2015 in Hefei, China!

DSC01214-proc-small

Team UNSW Australia (formerly rUNSWift), world champions at RoboCup 2015!

Team rUNSWift holds a special connection to the Intelligent Robots Group. Dr. Raymond Sheh, head of the Intelligent Robots Group, was a member of the 2003 rUNSWift team which also won the World Championship, held in Padua, Italy that year.

Raymond Sheh and the rest of the rUNSWift team back in 2003.

At the 2015 Robotics World Cup!

The Intelligent Robots Group is at the RoboCup World Championships, held in Hefei, China! Dr. Raymond Sheh, Head of the Intelligent Robots Group, traveled to the event, accompanied by undergraduate project student Murillo Ferreira, high school teachers Patrick Louden and Steven Riddell from Christchurch Grammar School and Scotch College respectively, and high school students Felix King, James Oakey and James Barr.

In addition to Raymond’s role on the Executive and Organising Committees of the RoboCupRescue Robot League, the group promoted and disseminated the Open Academic Robot Kit and Confined Space Robotic Challenge initiatives, gathered feedback from international collaborators and made plans for how to progress these initiatives forward.

DSC00962-proc-small

The contingent from Western Australia, along with collaborators from Canberra and Maryland, USA next to the mini arena at RoboCup 2015.

Terminator Genisys

Dr. Raymond Sheh from the Intelligent Robots Group was invited to the pre-screening of Terminator Genisys on the 29th of June, as a guest of The West Australian Newspaper.

As mentioned previously, the contrast between the performance of robots at the DRC Finals and the Terminator robots would suggest that our risk to civilisation lies less with humanoid robots engaging in hand-to-hand combat and more with flesh-and-blood humans breaking into the systems that record and command our ever more connected world.

Fortunately, the Department of Computing at Curtin also has an active Computer Security focus – in addition to topics in artificial intelligence, Dr. Sheh also teaches a unit on Cyber Crime and Security Enhanced Programming. 😉

DSC01477-proc-small

I can trust you not to take over the world, right?

Don’t blame us for the Robot Apocalypse …

The Intelligent Robots Group once again features in Ben O’Shea’s “Inside Cover” column of The West Australian newspaper, 11 June 2015, with the inevitable tongue-in-cheek references to terminators and the robot apocalypse.

DSC01423-proc-small

The performance of robots at the recent DARPA Robotics Challenge, which Dr. Sheh played a crucial role in developing way back in 2012 and 2013, serves as a nice counterpoint to the impending release of “Terminator Genisys” … while their performance was impressive given the state-of-the-art, despite what O’Shea might be hoping, if the robot apocalypse comes, it isn’t likely to be from walking, humanoid robots, at least not anytime soon. 😉

Having said that, Dr. Sheh stands by his comment that O’Shea quoted at the end of his article. If the robot apocalypse comes, blaming him will definitely be the least of your worries. 😉

The DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals 2015

Back in 2012, Dr. Raymond Sheh was one of the developers of the tasks of the DARPA Robotics Challenge, during his previous role at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology. He joined DARPA in December 2013 as one of the operations team for the DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials, held in Homestead, Florida.

A year and a half later, Dr. Sheh, now representing the Intelligent Robots Group at Curtin University, traveled to Ponoma, California, for the culmination of the largest (by dollar value) robotics competition the world has ever seen.

20150605-012711UTC-RavensChallenge-RKS-DMC-LX100-P1050809-small

P1060053-proc

This time, Dr. Sheh was responsible for leading a section of the exposition promoting the Open Academic Robot Kit and the Confined Space Robotics Challenge. These initiatives represent ways for students, from high school through to PhD level, to tackle the issues facing the multi-million-dollar teams on the main course, at a very low cost.

Developing Artificial Intelligence for the Robots of Tomorrow