Dr. Ben Talbot

Dr Ben Talbot portrait
Brisbane, Australia
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I am an Australian roboticist—I design, build, and experiment with robots—working on the research and engineering problems behind the next generation of robots.

In my work, I create new advances in robot capabilities and use them to expand the real world applications of robots. My research interests include cognitive robotics (how robots think and reason), artificial intelligence, and new ways to apply robotic systems.

I am currently a Senior Research Engineer at Emesent, working within their Autonomy team. I have previously worked as a research fellow at the Queensland University of Technology Centre for Robotics (QCR) and the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision (ACRV).

In a decade of working in robotics, I have melded research, engineering, and real world applications. My PhD research explored how robots can use human cues—like signs, gestures, language, and pictures—to navigate in built environments. Since, I have created tools for translating new robotics research into real world applications. These include:

  • the BenchBot software stack that researchers use to explore new research ideas in simulation and on real robots, using only a few lines of code;
  • an open-source behaviour trees library for building complex robot behaviours from a collection of robot capabilities; and
  • internal software architectures and processes for managing development in a large research laboratory.

These tools have been applied on a range of robot systems including: a lunar rover prototype, industrial robot arms, a service and assistance robot, and research-focused platforms.

I am passionate about strengthening and sharing knowledge in the robotics community. I like creating new things, but enjoy even more seeing how they can empower the work of others. My commitment to sharing knowledge includes making high-quality software like BenchBot and ROS trees open source, so others can learn from this research and apply it.

I have a PhD and Bachelor of Engineering (Honours I) in Electrical Engineering from the Queensland University of Technology. During my PhD studies, I also led tutoring teams in Advanced Robotics and Microprocessors & Digital Systems. Along the way I've won numerous awards for research, teaching, and scholarship.

My work has also featured in the media, and I enjoy commentating on topics like robotics, engineering, and the crucial role of science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM).

If there's something you would like to ask, discuss, or collaborate on, please feel free to contact me through the form below. I would love to hear from you.

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© Ben Talbot. All rights reserved.