ADR and CSIRO's Data61

Wildcat and Catpack systems on ADR’s Explora

Since its launch late last year, the Early Adopters Program has been enabling Australian companies to trial and build upon low risk, affordable and customisable technologies, creating new efficiencies and competitive advantages.

The CatPack perception pack and accompanying perception software Wildcat the first pieces of technology that have been made available as part of the EAP.

The systems can be attached to any robot or ground vehicle, equipping them with highly-accurate real-time mapping and positioning capabilities that allow the machines to successfully navigate unsafe, complex and unstructured environments without GPS or other external positioning information.

Leading laser, scanning and navigation robotic technology company Australian Droid and Robot (ADR) are the latest of six partners to join the program, applying the systems to accelerate the development of their mobile robot’s autonomy stack.

“It was a natural fit for ADR to become an early adopter of the Wildcat SLAM technology,” explains Dr Joe Cronin, Operations Manager of the Queensland-based ADR.

“Firstly, and most importantly, utilising the technology removes personnel from potentially hazardous areas as they can conduct inspection tasks remotely.

Secondly, it assists in completing the job faster and more efficiently with a higher resolution result. For example, one application for monitoring the results of blasting will assist with better fragmentation control, resulting in reduced explosives consumption, more efficient drilling and faster development.”

By equipping their Explora XL robot with the Wildcat and Catpack systems, ADR have been able to remotely and accurately map underground excavations in high resolution, a major advantage says Dr Cronin.

“The benefits of this technology to Australian industry are significant,” explains Dr Joe Cronin, Operations Manager of Australian Droid and Robot.

“As the Data61 team continuously develop the system, ADR’s intention is to fully integrate the Wildcat SLAM software with the ADR autonomy stack for mobile robots, providing robust and production-ready autonomous robots for use by industry.”

Overall, the combined benefits of Wildcat and Australian Droid and Robot technology will deliver significant safety, efficiency and cost management outcomes for the mining operation says Dr Cronin.

Designed to enable autonomy for robots working in a team, Wildcat and Catpack are cutting-edge 3D SLAM (Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping) software solutions that provide real-time localisation and mapping data for autonomous operation and high-fidelity mapping.

Based on ten years of cutting-edge research, the perception systems are suitable for autonomous robots, drones and vehicles, improving the performance of existing sensor payloads to deliver high-definition 3D multi-modal sensing.

Learn more about Wildcat, Catpack and the Early Adopters Program here, and take a closer look at Australian Droid and Robotics innovative solutions here.