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Jonathan Roberts

Jonathan Roberts

Jonathan is Professor in Robotics at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). His main research interest is in the areas of Field, Medical and Design Robotics and in particular making machines operate autonomously in unstructured or semi-structured environments. He graduated from the University of Southampton, UK, with an Honours degree in Aerospace Systems Engineering in 1991. Jonathan furthered his interest in computer vision while completing a PhD (1991-1994) at the University of Southampton where he also developed skills in parallel computing.

Jonathan worked in CSIRO from 1995 until 2014 and in his final year there was awarded the CSIRO Medal for Science Excellence. From 2009 until 2014 he was the Research Director of CSIRO’s Autonomous Systems Laboratory, a 100 staff lab located in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Hobart. Prior to that Jonathan was the CSIRO Science Leader for Robotics. Jonathan undertook a wide range of research at CSIRO including the development of autonomous mining machines, underwater robots and flying robots. Some of his work was commercialised with mining equipment manufacturers Caterpillar and Mineware Technology (an SME now owned by Komatsu).

Jonathan was a co-inventor of the UAV Challenge, an international flying robot competition that sees teams search for a lost bushwalker using autonomous robotic aircraft, and is still a leader of this activity to this day. He and his team won the 2013 2013 Australia and New Zealand Internet Award for Innovation for their Museum Robot project which saw two mobile robots deployed for a number of years in the National Museum of Australia in Canberra. In 2013 Jonathan made international news by being the first person to 3D map the interior of the Leaning Tower of Pisa using his teams’ Zebedee mobile mapping system. He continues to be interest in the use of robotics technology for the use in documenting and protecting important cultural heritage sites.

Jonathan joined QUT in 2014 as Professor in Robotics and co-founded QUT’s Medical and Healthcare Robotics team while at the same time co-developed QUT’s capability in the area of Design Robotics with his close collaborator Dr Jared Donovan.

Jonathan is a Past President of the Australian Robotics & Automation Association Inc. He currently serves as a Senior Editor of the IEEE Journal of Robotics and Automation Letters, and as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Field Robotics. He was Deputy Research Director of the Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation (ARCAA), a joint venture between CSIRO and Queensland University of Technology (QUT) from 2008 to 2013.

Jonathan regularly appears in the media (radio and TV) and is a writer for The Conversation.

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