Robotics and machine learning

The Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR) is dedicated to the research, development and dissemination of autonomous and intelligent robots and systems for operation in outdoor environments. The ACFR is one of the largest robotics research institutes in the world and has a long history of close engagement with industry, partnering to deliver impact across a variety of domains, including defence, mining, agriculture logistics, transportation and environmental sensing. ACFR and our researchers in Aerospace Engineering partner to deliver exciting solutions for both UAVs and manned aircraft, leveraging our advances in aerospace design, robotics and sensing to provide integrated products of unrivalled capability. Our specific strengths include:


  • SLAM – Perception, Localisation and Mapping
  • Autonomous control, motion planning, integrity

Decision-making under Uncertainty

  • Active learning and informative planning.
  • Adversarial policy optimisation in electronic warfare and communications

Data Fusion and Inference

  • Data fusion and mapping in air, ground and marine environments
  • Causal inference and inverse problem reasoning  such as in underground  structure detection


  • Custom design rapid prototyping of unmanned aerial systems (UAS)
  • Range of commercially deployed land, sea and air unmanned systems

Examples of defence funded projects include world first demonstrations of multi-UAV distributed data fusion and distributed control, the development of novel sensing technologies using vision, laser, radar and hyperspectral sensors, a DIN funded drone on demand project for printing drones to achieve specific mission objectives and the development of Autonomous Underwater Vehicle systems for littoral survey.

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