[IRL Crossing] Research lab to advance how humans interact and live with autonomous systems

A new International Research Laboratory (IRL) being launched today 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.

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" says Professor Jean-Philippe Diguet, Director of the lab.

The new lab will be launched on Monday 22 February at the Art Gallery of South Australia, at an evening event which will be attended by the partners in person and virtually. The launch will be opened by the Premier of South Australia the Hon. Steven Marshall and attended by the French Ambassador to Australia, his Excellency Mr Jean-Pierre Thébault, and by videoconference, Australia’s Ambassador to France, Her Excellency Ms Gillian Bird. The event will be attended by the CEO of Naval Group, Pierre-Eric Pommellet. The Vice-Chancellors of the University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia and Flinders University, as well as, remotely from Paris, the CEO of CNRS, Professor Antoine Petit, and IMT Atlantique Vice-President Ms Anne Beauval, who will join a round table discussion.

4 research fields

It will directly contribute to growing South Australian hi-tech industries such as space, oil and gas, manufacturing and mining, defence and space industries by:

  • Undertaking world-class research in the emerging field of human-machine interaction, developing new ways of efficient, ethical and human-centred collaboration with autonomous systems
  • Upskilling and educating personnel within industry and academia, building both capability and capacity through co-design and co-investment
  • Enhancing international collaboration between South Australia and France to attract and retain top scientific talent from industry and academia
  • Establishing translation pathways to allow research to move from the laboratory into industry and operational use.


Each partner brings complementary expertise to the research partnership. The University of Adelaide’s Australian Institute of Machine Learning (AIML) brings expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning. In the field of interactive and virtual environments and human performance, the University of South Australia has expertise in sleep and fatigue analysis and the University of Adelaide in active vision. IMT Atlantique has expertise and facilities in virtual and augmented reality and embedded and human-centric AI, and Flinders University in autonomous systems, human factors and industry 4.0 advanced manufacturing. 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.

"Australia is a country where IMT Atlantique is actively developing its international strategy, building on 15 years of collaborations. It positioned itself in the favourable context of the strengthened partnerships between France and Australia in the field of higher education and research, by proposing the creation of the Western Alliance for Scientific Action with Australia (WASAA) in 2018 which has enabled the increase of student and researcher exchanges between our two countries.

The CROSSING Lab is another dimension in which IMT Atlantique is joining forces with academic and industrial partners to strengthen our positioning in Australia. 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"

Published on 22.02.2021

by Pierre-Hervé VAILLANT

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