Professor Jonathan Roberts

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PhD (University of Southhampton)

Jonathan is a Professor in Robotics at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), is a Chief Investigator at the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision (ACRV), and is currently QUT’s Robotics and Autonomous Systems Discipline Leader. His main research interests are in the areas of Field Robotics, Medical Robotics, Performance Robotics and more recently Design Robotics.
Jonathan graduated from the University of Southampton, UK, in 1991 with an Honours degree in Aerospace Systems Engineering. 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.
In 1995 Jonathan joined CSIRO (Australia’s largest government research agency) to work in the area of mining robotics where he worked on numerous large robot machines including 3,500 tonne draglines, 30 tonne underground haul trucks and autonomous underground explosive loading vehicles. His work with his colleagues on the navigation system of semi-autonomous Load-Haul-Dump (LHD) vehicles was commercialised by Caterpillar. He was appointed a Science Leader at CSIRO in the area of Robotics and then went on to lead the Autonomous Systems Laboratory also at CSIRO where he was Research Director.
Jonathan was a co-inventor of the UAV Challenge Outback Rescue, an international flying robot competition in which teams search for a lost bushwalker using autonomous robotic aircraft, and he is still an active leader of the challenge today and has featured on BBC International News in 2014 and 2016 talking about the event. In 2013 he and his research team won the Australia and New Zealand Internet Award for Innovation for their Museum Robot project. This project deployed two mobile robots in the National Museum of Australia in Canberra and continues to be used by remote school students to visit the museum with an educator guide, on a weekly basis. In 2013 Jonathan made international news by being the first person to 3D map the interior of the Leaning Tower of Pisa using his team’s Zebedee mobile mapping system. He continues to have an interest in the use of robotics technology for the use in documenting and protecting important cultural heritage sites. His team’s mapping of Fort Lytton in Brisbane in conjunction with Queensland Parks and The University of Queensland was the first Australian heritage site to be archived on CyArk, the international digital cultural heritage database.

In 2017, Jonathan became a Chief Investigator at the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision. He and his team were also awarded an Australia-India Strategic Research Fund project in 2017 to develop new vision technologies for minimally invasive knee surgery. Jonathan was President of the Australian Robotics & Automation Association Inc. from 2007-2008, and between 2008 and 2013 was Deputy Research Director of the Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation (ARCAA), a joint venture between CSIRO and Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

Jonathan is a frequent contributor to The Conversation where he writes on many topics related to robotics and the use of technology in society.

Career History

  • 2017 – present: Chief Investigator at the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision
  • 2014 – present: Professor in Robotics, Queensland University of Technology
  • 2013 – 2014: Research Program Leader Autonomous Systems, CSIRO Computational Informatics
  • 2009 – 2013: Research Director, Autonomous Systems Lab, CSIRO ICT Centre and Deputy Director of the Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation (ARCAA)
  • 2004 – 2009: Principal Research Scientist & Science Leader Robotics, CSIRO ICT Centre
  • 2001 – 2004: Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO Manufacturing and Infrastructure Technology
  • 1995 – 2001: Research Scientist, CSIRO Manufacturing Science and Technology
  • 1994: PhD full-time postgraduate, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Southampton, UK
  • 1991-1993: Research Assistant, Southampton Novel Architecture Research Centre, University of Southampton, UK.

Significant Professional Achievements

  • 2015-present   Senior Editor of IEEE Journal of Robotics and Automation Letters
  • 2014                 CSIRO Science Excellence Medal – The Zebedee Team
  • 2014                  Co-Editor of International Journal of Field Robotics (JFR) Special Issue on UAVs
  • 2013                  General Chair of International Conference on Field and Service Robotics
  • 2010 – present    Chair of the Steering Committee of UAV Challenge Outback Rescue
  • 2006 – present    Member of editorial board, International Journal of Field Robotics (JFR)
  • 2010 – 2012    Video Editor of IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine
  • 2007 – present    Member of International Programme Committee, Field and Service Robotics (FSR)
  • 2007 – 2008        President of Australian Robotics & Automation Association (ARAA)
  • 2007 – 2009        Associate Editor of IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine
  • 2007                  Member of International Programme Committee, IEEE/RSJ InternationalConference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)
  • 2007 – 2011       Member of International Programme Committee, IEEE International Conference onRobotics and Automation (ICRA)
  • 2007                  Member of International Programme Committee, International Conference onAdvanced Robotics (ICAR)
  • 2007                  Member of International Programme Committee, Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles(IAV)
  • 2006                  Editor, International Journal of Field Robotics (JFR) Special Issue on UAVs
  • 2005 – 2006        Vice-president of Australian Robotics & Automation Association (ARAA)
  • 2005                  Publicity co-chair, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots andSystems (IROS)
  • 2005                  Member of International Programme Committee, IEEE International Conference onRobotics and Automation (ICRA)
  • 2005                  Local arrangements co-chair, Field and Service Robotics (FSR)
  • 2003                  Co-chair, Australasian Conference on Robotics & Automation (ACRA)
  • 1999                  Co-chair, Australasian Conference on Robotics & Automation (ACRA)

Publications
Please see Jonathan’s Google Scholar page for a list of publications and their citations

Patents

Projects

Additional information

Type
Editorial Role for an Academic Journal
Reference year
2015
Details
Senior Editor
Type
Editorial Role for an Academic Journal
Reference year
2015
Details
Member of Editorial Board
Type
Committee Role/Editor or Chair of an Academic Conference
Reference year
2013
Details
General Chair
Type
Appointment to Prestigious Positions
Reference year
2007
Details
President