The Royal GeographicalSociety of Queensland Ltd
RGSQ Lecture Series
How Brains, Robots and Autonomous Vehicles Map the WorldProf Michael Milford, QUT
Professor Milford conducts interdisciplinary research at the boundary between robotics, neuroscience and computer vision and is a multi-award winning educational entrepreneur. His research models the neural mechanisms in the brain underlying tasks like navigation and perception to develop new technologies in challenging application domains such as all-weather, anytime positioning for autonomous vehicles. He is also one of Australia’s most in demand experts in technologies including self-driving cars, robotics and artificial intelligence, and is a passionate science communicator. He currently holds the position of Professor at QUT, as well as ARC Future Fellow, Microsoft Research Faculty Fellow and Chief Investigator at the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision.
Presentation: The goal of Michael’s research is to understand the fundamental nature of intelligence, so that we can both shed light on how the brain functions, and create intelligent, autonomous systems that transform society. We draw inspiration from the amazing natural world including animal species like rats, insects, primates and humans, combined with robots, algorithms, innovative sensing modalities, computational neuroscience and artificial neural networks of all types. Michael will summarize a roboticist’s perspective on the neuroscience underlying one of the most well understood aspects of intelligence – spatial intelligence and perception – and describe how we have adapted this knowledge to create landmark robotics advances including RatSLAM’s mapping of an entire suburb using only webcam, persistent long term robot navigation autonomy trials and robust anytime localization. Finally, Michael will highlight how we are translating fundamental transdisciplinary science into industrial applications, working with major multinational companies in domains including autonomous vehicles and automated hazard detection. He will also provide a brief overview of the incredible trends in technologies around robotics, autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence occurring globally.
Photo: Professor of Robotics Michael Milford
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Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young PSM, Governor of Queensland