Research lab to advance how humans interact and live with autonomous systems

The outcomes could provide significant advances in the way operators use control systems on ships

Research lab to advance how humans interact and live with autonomous systems

A new International Research Laboratory (IRL) will focus on humans-autonomous agents teaming: an area of research at the interface of artificial intelligence, computer science, engineering, technology, human factors and psychology.

The French Australian Laboratory for Humans-Autonomous Agents Teaming, shortened to CROSSING, is a collaboration between the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), the University of Adelaide, Flinders University, the University of South Australia, French technological university IMT Atlantique, and Naval Group, the only industrial partner.

An IRL is a flagship international collaboration mechanism used by CNRS, France’s leading scientific research centre. The new IRL is called CROSSING because it represents the crossover of ideas that is at the heart of this important collaboration.

Professor Jean-Philippe Diguet, Director of the lab, says:

“The CROSSING Lab will bring together leading French and Australian scientists from artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer science, engineering, psychology and human factors. They will work together to tackle important challenges in finding new ways for systems and humans to work together. The outcomes could provide significant advances in the way operators use control systems on ships, maintenance platforms in industry or services to assist within the home, and the way these systems are developed to assist and improve human performance to make work safer and more efficient.”

The CROSSING Lab will join a network of more than 70 IRLs, but will become one of only five international research laboratories with industry partners in the world. It will join the ranks of other labs in global innovation hubs, including Singapore, China, Japan and the United States of America. 

Professor Anna Ma-Wyatt, from the University of Adelaide’s School of Psychology, who is Co-Director of the new lab, says:

“At the CROSSING lab we will develop new ways for humans to work with robots and autonomous systems. Human operators will cooperate with high-level automata, robots or adaptive information systems able to produce knowledge and to explore the physical or informational environment on their own.”

Each partner brings complementary expertise to the research partnership. Industrial partner, Naval Group, will share its world-class expertise from areas including embedded intelligence, optimised architectures, unmanned vehicles, industry of the future and human performance measurement.

Professor David Lloyd, Vice-Chancellor and President, the University of South Australia:

“We are proud to be contributing our world-leading expertise in key areas that connect human factors with the physical aspects of maritime vehicles in novel ways."

“Our interdisciplinary research includes psychophysiology and behaviour, metrics-based ergonomic design, virtual reality and augmented reality.”

Mr Pierre Eric Pommellet, CEO of Naval Group:

“Naval Group is proud to be the industry partner for the new International Research Lab. We are honoured by the trust of our Australian and French partners, and the opportunity to make this a cornerstone of international scientific breakthrough. As one of only five labs with an industrial partner opened by CNRS, this world leading research laboratory, based in Adelaide, supports our commitment to ongoing global innovation. Supported by our subsidiary Naval Group Pacific, this partnership will help Australia realise and fulfil its innovation roadmap across a broad spectrum of sectors.”

Ms Anne Beauval, Vice-President, IMT Atlantique:

“IMT Atlantique has especially set cooperation axes with Naval Group Research (and more generally Naval Group) about submarine communication and detection, ocean monitoring as well as digital transformation at different levels of practice (industrial management, command & control). These cooperations are already supported through chairs and collaborative projects and will contribute to consolidating and enriching the CROSSING Lab”.