Michael Milford from the CyPhy laboratory has just been awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant for 2012 to 2014 for $140,000.
Brain-based sensor fusion for navigating robots
This project will develop new methods for sensor fusion using brain-based algorithms for calibration, learning and recall. Current robotic sensor fusion techniques are primarily based on fusing depth or feature data from range and vision sensors. These approaches require manual calibration and are restricted to environments with structured geometry and reliable visual features. In contrast, rats rapidly calibrate a wide range of sensors to learn and navigate in environments ranging from a pitch-black sewer in Cairo to a featureless desert in America. The project will produce robots that, like rats, autonomously learn how best to use their sensor suites, enabling unsupervised, rapid deployment in a range of environments.
The award is for 3 years and worth $140,000, and will provide funding for 2 PhD students (see Michael's call for PhD applications here) and essential robotics research equipment.