Achievements: Autonomous Systems
In the mine of the future robots will map terrain, dig ore and transfer materials automatically so that humans do not need to work in hazardous environments.
Current work in open-pit coal mines has lead to the development of systems for dragline swing assist (cruise control for draglines), digital terrain mapping, and autonomous excavation.
For underground metalliferous mines we have developed the robotic component of an automated explosive loading system and, in conjunction with CSIRO Exploration and Mining, an automation system for Load Haul Dump units.
In the not-too-distant future farmers will monitor and control their cattle from a home-based laptop computer – much like playing a video game.
CSIRO researchers have developed a system of tiny networked sensors, which are embedded around the farm and within the cattle themselves, to monitor – and in some cases control – the herd’s location, activity, health and well-being.
The low-cost, low-power, networked sensors have the ability to communicate with each other, and to radio data back to a central server – empowering the farmer with far more information about the status of the herd than ever before.
This system will be especially attractive to farmers in Australia who must manage cattle across enormous distances.
The Energy Transformed National Research Flagship and the CSIRO ICT Centre are exploring the applications of “smart space” technology for future intelligent, adaptive, distributed energy networks.
The idea is to use intelligent software agents to dynamically manage the generation, distribution and usage of electricity to deliver benefits to consumers, energy providers and the environment.
CSIRO is currently developing a concept demonstrator to implement a system of agents representing energy users. This demonstrator – which combines both software and hardware – will be used as both a research testbed and as a showpiece to attract industry partners.
Imaging software from CSIRO is helping doctors identify early changes in patients with diseases such as Alzheimer's and Schizophrenia.
The software measures the extent of thinning on the outer layer of the brain - the cortex - a factor known to be associated with the onset of many neurological disorders. A three-dimensional map of a patient's brain is created from routine MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans.
The software, now being trialled, will help in identifying serious illness sooner to allow early, and hopefully more effective, intervention.
If treatment can begin earlier the onset of these diseases can be delayed or even prevented.
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