The QUT Centre for Robotics is working with the Australian Space Agency on the newly established Australian space program, in which robots will play a key role. There are multiple PhD projects available to work on different aspect of developing a new Lunar Rover (and later Mars Rover) and in particular its intelligence and autonomy. Future rovers will not only need to conduct exploration and science missions as famous rovers such as NASA’s Curiosity or Perseverance are doing right now on Mars, they will also need to conduct other practical tasks such as retrieving and transporting regolith, or preparing construction sites to help establish human bases.
The projects in this program of the centre would focus on the development of perception and localisation systems that are resilient given the particularly challenging conditions that can be encountered on the Moon or Mars, which can include: permanently shadowed areas (on the Moon), dust storms (on Mars) etc. This will likely involve the intelligent and adaptive combination of sensor data acquired by distinct modalities, which may include visual cameras, IR camera, other “alternative” cameras such as Light-Field camera or event-based camera, LIDAR, and/or RADAR.