ACFR Marine Robotics Program

Welcome to the University of Sydney’s Australian Centre for Field Robotics marine systems group. We undertake fundamental and applied research in a variety of areas related to the development and deployment of marine autonomous systems. The ACFR, as operator of a major national Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Facility, conducts AUV-based surveys at sites around Australia and overseas. These AUV surveys are designed to collect high-resolution stereo imagery and oceanographic data to support studies in the fields of engineering science, ecology, biology, geoscience, archaeology and industrial applications.

One of the major challenges with this program is managing, searching through and visualizing the resulting data streams. Our recent research has focused on generating high-fidelity, three-dimensional models of the seafloor; precisely matching survey locations across years to allow scientists to understand variability in these environments; and identifying patterns in the data that facilitate automated classification of the resulting image sets.

Providing precise navigation and high-resolution imagery lends itself to novel methods for data discovery and visualization. As a result, we have a strong focus on methods for interacting with and discovering patterns in the data using machine learning techniques. We also have a strong record of engagement with end users in a variety of domains interested in understanding marine environments.