Guest lecture: Infrastructure Robotics Research – Recent Progress and Challenges

Dr Dikai Liu, Director of the Centre for Autonomous Systems, University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

2018.09.27 | Xuping Zhang

Date Mon 08 Oct
Time 14:30 15:30
Location Navitas, Auditorium, Inge Lehmanns Gade 10, 8000 Aarhus

Current applications of robotics are distinguished from more traditional automation by the focus on robots that operate in relatively unstructured, dynamic, difficult to access and often hazardous environments. A number of robotic systems have been deployed in highly challenging applications including infrastructure maintenance, mining, cargo handling and healthcare. The first part of this presentation will focus on a range of autonomous robotic systems developed in the Centre for Autonomous Systems at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. Challenging research questions in sensing, perception, exploration, mapping and control will be discussed. Infrastructure in transport (e.g. bridges and tunnels), energy (e.g. transmission towers, offshore structures) and water (e.g. pipelines and dams) is important to economy and community in every country, but it is progressively deteriorating due to ageing, environmental changes and loading. Lack of or inappropriate maintenance poses very serious risks.

Infrastructure robotics research has made significant progress but current methodologies and robotic systems can only be used in relatively simple environments. For complex structures, such as box girders, steel bridges and transmission towers, there is a lack of methodology that enable robots to be used for maintenance of such structures. The second half of this talk will discuss infrastructure robotics, including the current research activities, key research challenges and opportunities. Examples of autonomous and human-collaborative robots for infrastructure maintenance will be presented. Lessons learned from the development and deployment of such robots will be discussed.

Dr Dikai Liu is a distinguished professor and Director of the Centre for Autonomous Systems at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia. His main research interest is robotics with the focuses on infrastructure robotics, robot teams and physical human-robot collaboration. Besides conducting fundamental robotics research, he has also led the development, by applying his research outcomes, of autonomous and collaborative robots that can be deployed in real applications, including autonomous robots for steel bridge maintenance, bio-inspired climbing robots for inspection of complex steel structures, intelligent robotic co-worker for human-robot collaborative abrasive blasting, smart hoist for patient transfer, and Intervention AUVs (I-AUV) for underwater structure maintenance. Since 2005, his research has received a number of best paper and research/engineering excellence awards. He is the recipient of many patents include USA and Australia patents. Over the last 10 years, the total research funding he received is over $10million.

Lecture / talk