Australia’s world-leading research into robotics and autonomous systems just got a major boost as CSIRO’S Data61 opens a new Robotics Innovation Centre in Pullenvale.

Data61’s new facility advances Australia’s position as a world-leader in a fast-growing industry that will be worth $23 billion globally by 2025.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews recognised the advantages of having the new facility.

“CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, has a long history of robotics research excellence and has established itself as one of the world’s leading robotics research groups,” Minister Andrews said.

“Robots and autonomous systems are unlocking new value and supporting traditional industries like mining, agriculture and manufacturing to grow the economy and create more jobs.”

CSIRO Data61’s New Robotics Innovation Centre

Photo credit: © Copyright CSIRO Australia, 2019

The new purpose-built robotic centre is an expansion of Data61’s robotics laboratory infrastructure in Queensland.

Interestingly, the 600-square-metre facility currently houses the biggest motion-capture system in the southern hemisphere. This cutting-edge technology will be used to assess and analyse data collected by its various robotics systems.

The centre also contains the folowing:

  • a 13×5 metre pool for testing aquatic robots
  • numerous unmanned aerial and ground vehicles
  • legged robots
  • high-accuracy robot manipulators
  • sensors and telemetry systems



The new robotics centre will be used to continue the Robotics and Autonomous Systems Group’s on-going research. This includes the development of autonomous robotics systems to interact safely and seamlessly with humans in various situations.

The group’s work includes efforts to develop new approaches to rapidly map, navigate, and search underground environments using legged robots and autonomous drone technology. This research is part of a three-year DARPA funded SubT Challenge.

Once completed, the new technology will assist first responders in understanding and exploring hazardous underground environments during emergency rescue efforts. It will also have various commercial applications across a range of industries including mining, transport, construction, and agriculture.

The new Robotics Innovation Centre in Pullenvale, as well as Data61’s extensive robotics laboratory infrastructure, is also open for industry use and collaborative projects. For further information, contact the Robotics and Autonomous Systems group.