Brendan Tidd

Brendan graduated from QUT in 2017 with a Bachelor of Engineering majoring in Mechatronics, achieving first class honors. In 2016 Brendan developed a tethered autonomous underwater vehicle as part of QUT’s entry to the Robotx Maritime challenge, travelling with the team to Hawaii. TeamQUT competed against 13 universities from around the world, where TeamQUT took out second place.

Brendan joined the Centre in late 2017 under supervision of Dr Juxi Leitner and associate supervisor Distinguished Professor Peter Corke. In 2018 Dr Nicholas Hudson from Data61 at CSIRO joined his supervisory team, and in 2019 Dr Akansel Cosgun (Monash University) filled in for Dr Leitner. Brendan’s work uses reinforcement learning to control dynamic legged robots traversing challenging terrains. The focus of this work is on modularity, where any number of controllers can be combined to extend the mobility of a dynamic platform on unstructured environments.

This topic lead him to work with CSIRO as part of a team funded by DARPA in their latest robotics competition, a subterranean challenge. In the Subt challenge a team of robots (CSIRO’s team includes tracked, legged, and flying robots), commanded by a single operator must enter an underground scenario and localise target artifacts. The Subt challenge consists of 4 stages, including a Tunnel circuit (Aug 2019), Urban circuit (Feb 2020), Cave circuit (Oct 2020), and a final combination circuit (Aug 2021). Brendan has travelled with the team for all engagements thus far, and was one of two operators for the Urban and Cave circuits.

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