Autonomous Systems

Hugh Durrant-Whyte

PhD in Systems Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, 1986.
MSE in Systems Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, 1985.
BSc (Eng) in Nuclear Engineering, 1st Class Honours University of London, 1983.

Australian Robotics Network

10/02-Current ARC Federation Fellow
1/99-10/02 Director, Australian Centre for Field Robotics
7/95-10/02 Professor of Mechatronic Engineering, Department of Aerospace, Mechanical & Mechatronic Engineering, The University of Sydney.
10/87-6/95 University Lecturer in Engineering Science, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
Fellow of Oriel College Oxford.
10/86-9/87 Research Fellow, Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford.
Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford.
10/85-8/86 Research Assistant, Department of Computer and Information Science, The University of Pennsylvania.
7/79-8/83 Industrial Student, Rolls Royce and Associates (Nuclear), Derby.

Research Interests
My research focuses on two main areas; navigation of autonomous vehicles and senor data fusion.

In navigation I pioneered the application of Kalman filter and target-tracking methods to the problem of robot localisation. This has had substantial impact in robotics; Many operational mobile robots now use these methods for localisation. I also introduced the revolutionary Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM) method. Interest in SLAM is now exploding. My research work is now focused on general probabilistic SLAM problems appropriate to very unstructured, outdoor and underwater, environments.

In data fusion I introduced and pioneered decentralised data fusion algorithms based on the information filter. While I initially undertook this work in the early 1990s, these algorithms are now being used as the theoretical underpinning for many new concepts in network-centric warfare systems. The ACFR now receives considerable funding from overseas defence companies in the UK and US for the development and implementation of this theory. New research work is broadening the scope of these methods to general information fusion problems.

Awards and Prizes
Business and Higher Education Award:
Awarded by Department of Industry (Australia) for innovation in collaborative R&D. (2000)

Best Paper Prize
IEEE International Symposium on Robotics in Construction. (1999)

Best Paper Prize
IEEE Data Fusion Symposium. (1996)

UK Engineer of the Year
(Highly Commended) Awarded by the UK Manufacturing Industry Association. (1994)

Best Paper Prize
IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Intelligent Systems (IROS). (1993)

Thouron Award
For postgraduate study at the University of Pennsylvania, USA. (1983-1985)

Drapers Award
Best undergraduate performance at the University of London. (1981 and 1983)

Current Projects

Past Projects

Click here for full list

Estimation and the Kalman Filter
Multisensor Data Fusion
Navigation Systems Design
Decentralised Data Fusion
SLAM Summer School
Introduction to Data Fusion
Introduction to Estimation and Data Fusion
Test Course Title

Research Director: As Research Director, I am responsible for the strategic direction and planning of research at the Centre.

The Centre for Autonomous Systems finished at the end of 2010. This web site is kept as an example of the work undertaken by the Centre between 2003 and 2010.

This web site is hosted by the Australian Centre for Field Robotics. Please check the ACFR web site for the latest work in this and similar fields of research.