Working with Australian and international partners, RMIT has developed extensive design and manufacturing capabilities in autonomous systems.
Unmanned Aerial Systems
RMIT understands the profound impact the emerging technologies around Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and autonomous systems have for the defence sector.
We are combining our diverse expertise to develop UAS capabilities. From concept to development, RMIT researchers collaborate to bring together the latest thinking across design, manufacturing, computer and software development, analytics, and safety considerations.
RMIT has projects underway with the Defence Science and Technology Group, other universities, and leading commercial enterprises.
World’s first Autonomously Soaring Eagle
Partner: Defence Science and Technology Group
RMIT launched the world’s first Autonomously Soaring Eagle capable of relying entirely on updrafts surrounding buildings to stay airborne.
The flight trials demonstrated excessive endurance beyond the capacity of batteries. This is ideal for operations requiring prolonged flight times. The current development includes the improved predictability of updrafts in real-time and energy efficient path planners inspired by birds’ flight.
The Black Kite
Partner: Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG)
The Black Kite is a water resistant, water recoverable, maritime RPA (Robotic Process Automation) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) designed and manufactured by RMIT.
The Black Kite is currently used as a modular research platform at DSTG to explore further uses of RPA in maritime applications. It is capable of detecting and tracking vessels and underwater swimmers approaching a ship, and can also communicate with vessels via a speaker to provide warnings or other communications. It can lay dormant on the water’s surface for many hours.
It has been successfully demonstrated to the US and Australian navies.
Weighing less than 100g, the small but powerful MARV is RMIT's low-cost caged-drone.
MARV has been designed for surveillance operations that require low noise output and a small form to enable it to enter small access points. With a very small production cost (less than $200) MARV is a high-performance UAV, which can be left behind depending on the situation, thereby increasing its deployment capabilities.
Mosquito Zapping Drone
A technology that can rid the immediate environment of potential malaria-carrying mosquitoes, this is a high-impact application for communities and defence force personnel in mosquito-dense environments.
The ‘Aussie-Mozzie’ (Australian mosquito) drone can quietly and safely operate in a room at night to attract mosquitoes before zapping them to reduce the chances of malaria infection.
RMIT’s Virtual Experiences Lab (VXLab) is a multi-disciplinary virtual laboratory connecting visualisation and automation facilities in RMIT and industry. The lab uses advanced gaming and visualisation devices for virtual and annotated reality development and enables collaborative experimental design, operation and testing of global cyber-physical systems.
The lab facilitates:
- system design and testing research for industry partners with complex combinations of systems, design models and tests;
- access to remote or dangerous sites;
- distributed, collaborative design, prototyping and troubleshooting requiring multiple views of complex data;
- prototyping and development of “dashboards” for decision making;
- management in automation systems, e.g. environmental management, building or cyber-physical infrastructure, incorporating maps and other custom views;
- high resolution and immersive imaging
Read more: Virtual Experiences Laboratory