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Autonomous systems and robotics

Autonomous systems and robotics

Autonomous systems and robotics allow companies to tackle challenges in personnel safety, work efficiency and evolving security risks in a safe and reliable way. IISRI is at the forefront of autonomous systems and robotics research – designing, engineering and building smarter technologies for defence, security and medical environments.

Breaking ground in autonomous systems and robotics

For those working in defence, security and medical environments – safety is of the highest importance. And the biggest contributor to accidents in high-risk situations is human error.

But what can companies and government bodies do to eliminate human error and improve accuracy and efficiency during high-risk tasks?

Autonomous systems and robotics technologies can improve the precision of high-risk tasks and leave the complex decision-making to humans – and IISRI is at the forefront of such technology.

Our autonomous systems and autonomous robotics research is removing the risk of human error by designing and engineering technology that has the potential to save lives and improve productivity and efficiencies.

Our research team can design and build research platforms for autonomous systems on land, air and sea, with capabilities such as:

  • A multi-vehicle autonomy pack that can be retrofitted for your custom needs
  • Configurable obstacle avoidance
  • Intention-aware autonomy
  • User-friendly navigation
  • Total control over mission or activity from a remote, central command centre
  • Safety-first approach to modular solution architecture

How autonomous vehicles could change Army operations

Studies show that human error is the cause of about 90 per cent of road accidents and fatalities. And for the Australian Army, an ongoing challenge is the transporting of goods via road vehicles convoying or platooning through often remote or dangerous locations.

IISRI, with the Australian Army, has designed and engineered a fleet of autonomous vehicles for convoying or platooning that can reduce fuel consumption, improve efficiency and eliminate the risk to humans.

Using the concept of sensor fusion – a type of data fusion which gains data from different multisensory environments – IISRI has developed an autonomous system that can act correctly even in the event of noisy information from certain sensors.

Sensor fusion allows the creation of an internal map that contains various detected objects with different confidence levels – pertaining accurate position, orientation, and situational awareness. This was done by using data fusion algorithms – a vital tool for situational awareness in domains where decision-making is dependent on combined information from multiple sources or sensors.

The successful implementation of a fully autonomous convoy can potentially enable transporting goods to remote and dangerous places without human involvement.

This research project was showcased during the Chief of Army 2021 Conference and ARX. The autonomous system’s reliability was captured during a live demo with several senior military personnel, including the Chief of Army and Chief Capability – Army, who sat in the passenger seat while the autonomous truck performed a live manoeuvring task.

Data fusion algorithms explained

Data fusion algorithms are becoming vital tools for situational awareness in domains where decision-making is dependent on combined information from multiple sources or sensors. Due to the technological limitations, fusing all features from all source signals into a singular isn’t possible. Our research looks at how signal fusion can be redefined into transferring important features from source signals, ignoring the non-important features and minimising their effect on the fused signal.

Robotics in a hospital setting

Robotics has enormous potential in our medical and health environments to not only improve efficiencies but improve the workplace safety and wellbeing of our doctors, nurses and allied health practitioners.

At IISRI, our researchers have developed and engineered a range of ground-breaking robotics systems for greater health outcomes.

A robotic innovation from IISRI is HeroSurg – which provides surgeons with the sense of touch while using a robot to conduct keyhole surgery via a computer.

HeroSurg was developed by engineers from IISRI and Harvard University, along with Professor Suren Krishnan, the first Australian surgeon to use the da Vinci robotic surgical system for ear, nose and throat procedures.

The HeroSurg robot was a major breakthrough – providing a sense of touch, through haptic feedback, it has made laparoscopic, or keyhole/microsurgery, safer and more accurate than ever before by reducing trauma and lowering risk of blood loss and infection.

How does a haptically-enabled grasping surgery instrument work?

IISRI’s force feedback-enabled, minimally invasive surgery instrument that is able to measure tip/tissue lateral interaction forces, as well as normal grasping forces.

This supports a sense of touch in robotically assisted, minimally invasive surgery operations, enabling the characterisation of soft tissue of varying strength.

The instrument can also adjust grasping direction and change tip types (for example, cutter, grasper, and dissector) as needed. Unlike existing tele-surgery systems that can only provide the surgeon with basic visual feedback, robots can outperform humans as they have much greater movement, accuracy and precision.

Research – Development – Commercial Ready

IISRI has a proven track record of achieving outstanding results in its three key pillars of Research, Development, and Commercial Ready. We work closely with companies, government and community to deliver products and services that are agile, adaptive and applicable in dynamic, real-world environments. Contact us to learn more.