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In Good Company

Australian Centre for Robotic Vision Chief Investigator Michael Milford – an engineer at the cutting edge of the development of autonomous vehicles and robotics has been recognised with one of Australia’s top awards.

At a gala ceremony in Sydney on Thursday (13 June 2019), Professor Milford was presented with the prestigious 2019 Batterham Medal by the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.

This marks the second major accolade for the Centre in two weeks after Centre Director Peter Corke’s visionary contribution to advancing the capabilities of robots earned him Australia’s top honour as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.

Professor Milford, who was honoured with the 2019 Batterham Medal in recognition of his work over the past five years, conducts interdisciplinary research at the boundary between robotics, neuroscience and computer vision at the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision, headquartered at QUT.

His latest project involves the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) and the iMOVE Co-operative Research Centre (iMOVE CRC), taking an artificial intelligence system on a 1,200km road trip of south-east Queensland.

“The big problem that faces autonomous vehicles right now is that at the moment they don’t drive as well as humans in all possible conditions,” Professor Milford said. “We’re targeting how the car might use infrastructure, such as lane markings and street signage, to help it to drive well.”

Professor Milford is also leading research on new positioning systems for autonomous mining vehicles, working with Fortune 100 company Caterpillar, Mining3 and the Queensland Government.

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Academy President Professor Hugh Bradlow FTSE congratulated Professor Milford.

“The Batterham Medal was established in 2014 to be presented annually to a graduate engineer who has achieved substantial recognition for their work in the past five years,” Professor Bradlow said.

“The nation’s future prosperity depends on embracing new technology to address critical national challenges.

“More than ever, we need knowledge creation, technology and innovation that can be harnessed to drive commercialisation and economic and social benefit.

“Professor Milford has made a tremendous contribution – translating abstract neuroscience concepts into rugged technology that can be trialled for real-world applications.”

Professor Milford’s research looks at how the brain handles navigation and perception to see how they can be applied to challenging tasks such as all-weather, anytime positioning for autonomous vehicles.

His group’s research has involved significant collaboration with industry and universities around the world, including Harvard and Oxford universities, Google Deepmind, Caterpillar, the US Air Force and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, among others.

Professor Milford said he was honoured to be awarded the Batterham Medal. “I’m proud that our team’s work has been recognised by this Learned Academy,” he said.

Professor Robin Batterham AO FREng FAA FTSE is a renowned chemical engineer who became Chief Scientist of Australia in 1999. He was President of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering from 2007 to 2012.

The Batterham Medal is funded by the Group of Eight Deans of Engineering and Associates and administered by the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.

MEDIA CONTACT
Shelley Thomas, Communications Specialist
Australian Centre for Robotic Vision
P: +61 7 3138 4265 | M: +61 416 377 444 | E: shelley.thomas@qut.edu.au

About The Australian Centre for Robotic Vision
The Australian Centre for Robotic Vision is an ARC Centre of Excellence, funded for $25.6 million over seven years to form the largest collaborative group of its kind generating internationally impactful science and new technologies that will transform important Australian industries and provide solutions to some of the hard challenges facing Australia and the globe. Formed in 2014, the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision is the world’s first research centre specialising in robotic vision. They are a group of researchers on a mission to develop new robotic vision technologies to expand the capabilities of robots. Their work will give robots the ability to see and understand for the sustainable well-being of people and the environments we live in. The Australian Centre for Robotic Vision has assembled an interdisciplinary research team from four leading Australian research universities: QUT, The University of Adelaide (UoA), The Australian National University (ANU), and Monash University as well as CSIRO’s Data61 and overseas universities and research organisations including the French national research institute for digital sciences (INRIA), Georgia Institute of Technology, Imperial College London, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich), and the University of Oxford.

Posted June 13, 2019

Australian Centre for Robotic Vision
2 George Street Brisbane, 4001
+61 7 3138 7549