Abstract: This talk will examine current developments in the area of benthic habitat mapping using Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs). An overview of Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) program will be given and the role that the IMOS AUV Facility is playing in conducting repeated surveys at sites around Australia will be described. We will provide a brief overview of developments in the areas of Simultaneous Localization and Mapping, 3D terrain reconstruction and management of the large volumes of image data being collected by these systems. We will show how these methods are being used to help characterize benthic habitats and to examine both broadscale patterns of biodiversity as well as detailed changes in these environments over time.
Biography: Dr. Stefan B. Williams is an Associate Professor and ARC Future Fellow at the University of Sydney’s School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering. He is a member of the Australian Centre for Field Robotics where he leads the Marine Robotics group. He is also the head of Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System AUV Facility. His research interests include Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping in unstructured underwater environments, autonomous navigation and control and classification and clustering of large volumes of data collected by robotic systems. He received his PhD from the University of Sydney in 2002 and completed a Bachelor of Applied Science with first class honours in 1997 at the University of Waterloo, Canada.