Trusted Autonomy

Contact: Prof Hussein Abbass,


Today, every physical system from the handheld mobile phones, washing machines, cars, to aircrafts and the national electricity grid is coupled with software (Cyber-Physical Systems). More of these pieces of software are becoming autonomous in their ability to sense and act. They are evolving to interact with humans as peers (Human-Cyber-Physical Systems). This level of autonomy and the human-autonomy interaction pose some of the most challenging research questions on how to make them smarter and trustworthy.

The Trusted Autonomy Group at UNSW-Canberra takes a unique inter-disciplinary approach to team humans and autonomous systems; with a particular interest in teaming humans with ground and air swarm. The research areas of interest to the group include:

  • Artificial Intelligence with emphasis on Transparent and Explainable AI
  • Biometrics including Multimodel Biometrics
  • Cognitive Engineering including Neuroengineering for Trusted Interaction
  • Intelligent Control of Autonomous Systems
  • Game Play including Simulation
  • Guidance including Distributed Guidance
  • Human Performance with emphasis on Real-Time Cognitive-Cyber Symbiosis
  • Human-Autonomy Teaming with emphasis on Human-Swarm Interaction
  • Machine Learning with emphasis on Deep Reinforcement Learning
  • Multi-agent Systems including Swarm Robotics
  • Robot Sensing including Machine Vision
  • Skill-Bootstrapping including Computational Motivation.

The group has outstanding infrastructure facilities including a well-equipped lab for human performance analysis (EEG, Eye-Tracking, etc), a deep-learning-capable distributed simulation facility, and an indoor facility for UAV and UGV testing which is instrumented with an accurate motion capture system (VICON).

The group has external funding on some of the most challenging problems in human-swarm interaction to produce ground-breaking smart technologies that enable humans and swarms of ground and air UAVs to work together in harmony as a single team of peers.

Currently, with 30 PhD students, 7 research fellows, and 5 core academics, the group is augmented with a number of collaborators coming from a wide range of fields ranging from mathematics and engineering to psychology to form an Australian critical mass of innovation in trusted autonomous systems.

Our students graduate with unique interdisciplinary skillsets that are well needed in the technologically driven world of today and publish in top research outlets.

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