AUSMURI: Neuro-Autonomy: Neuroscience-Inspired Perception, Navigation, and Spatial Awareness for Autonomous Robots

Project dates: 09/01/2019 - 09/01/2024

State-of-the-art Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) are trained for specific, well-structured environments and, in general, would fail to operate in unstructured or novel settings. This project aims at developing next-generation AVs, capable of learning and on-the-fly adaptation to environmental novelty. These systems need to be orders of magnitude more energy efficient than current systems and able to pursue complex goals in highly dynamic and even adversarial environments.

Biological organisms exhibit the capabilities envisioned for next-generation AVs. From insects to birds, rodents and humans, one can observe the fusing of multiple sensor modalities, spatial awareness, and spatial memory, all functioning together as a suite of perceptual modalities that enable navigation in unstructured and complex environments. With this motivation, the project will leverage deep neurophysiological insights from the living world to develop new neuroscience-inspired methods capable of achieving advanced, next-generation perception and navigation for AVs.

The project will run for 3, extendable to 5 years, and is worth approximately $15M over the full 5 year period.

QUT’s Involvement and Research Areas

QUT’s involvement in this project is focused on biologically-inspired place perception and place recognition, both in terms of bio-inspired sensing (including dynamic vision or “event” cameras) and bio-inspired navigation, mapping and machine learning.

Selected Publications