Objectives and outcomes


The ACFR has three major objectives:

  1. Research: To develop both fundamental and applied research programs in field robotics that encompass the development of new theories and methods in robotics, and the deployment of these in targeted industrial applications (see Our Research page for more information about our fundamental and applied research programs):
    • The Fundamental Research Program focuses on enabling technologies in four key areas: perception, control, learning and systems. These areas draw together common themes and research priorities from the applied research program (i.e. projects) with the goal of supporting long-term developments across the whole field robotics area.
    • The Applied Research Program focuses on various application domains: aerospace, materials handling, indoor robots, mining, defence, subsea, art, transport, agriculture and others. Each project is tied to on-going industry research projects and benefits from the input of industrial partners.
  2. Teaching: In concert with the research plan to develop a unique capability for the teaching of field robotics fundamentals at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and to develop a series of industry-responsive courses in applied field robotics.
    • The Teaching Program is structured around the delivery of industry focused courses in field robotics technology. These courses are also delivered to incoming PhD students. These courses are also being developed into a modular industry-focused Master of Engineering (ME) program. (see Education page for more information)
  3. Working with industry: To build and maintain links with both system developer and end-user industries, and to develop a range of collaborative strategies for the commercial involvement, development and exploitation of both fundamental and applied research programs.
    • The Working with industry (wealth creation) strategy focuses on the establishment of long-term links with key industry partners, and on the development of field robotics capabilities in Australian industries. (see Working with industry page for more information)


The principle outcome of the ACFR is the establishment of a national capability in field robotics able to undertake and support substantial end-user applications, able to support the creation of a new industry in robotics technology, and standing as a leading international research centre in field robotics.

The management and evaluation strategy for the centre defines specific outcome measures for each of the three objectives:

  1. Research: Through published material, international projects and collaborative project income.
  2. Teaching: Through the number, quality and placement of graduates and secondment to industry.
  3. Working with industry (wealth creation): Through specific application projects and through the development or licensing of technology products.