The French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) has created a new research laboratory in Australia to focus on human-robotic interfaces.

Called the French Australian Laboratory for Humans-Autonomous Agents Teaming (CROSSING), it is a partnership between the CNRS, the University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia, French technological university IMT Atlantique, Flinders University, and industrial partner Naval Group.

Located in Adelaide, the project seeks to offer solutions for humans to work with robots and autonomous systems efficiently and ethically.

Lab director Professor Jean-Philippe Diguet said: “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.”

Each of the partners will offer their complementary expertise to the project.

The University of Adelaide will provide robotic platforms, testing spaces and advanced physiological measurement equipment, as well as access to calculation resources at the Australian Institute of Machine Learning (AIML) to CROSSING scientists.

Flinders University will make available advanced equipment at the Centre for Maritime Engineering, Control, and Imaging (CMECI) for the project.

In addition, the University of South Australia will offer scientists access to a lab ‘dedicated to augmented reality’ and design resources to develop prototypes to test human-machine interfaces.

As the only industrial partner, Naval Group will leverage its expertise and deliver an ‘industrial vision’ for advanced fundamental research development.