Researcher biography

Tristan Perez is a Professor of Robotics at the School of Electrical Eng. & Computer Science at Queensland Univeristy of Technology (QUT), and an Honorary Professor at the Queensland Brain Institure - The Universtiy of Queensland (UQ).

Tristan Perez completed his Electronics Engineering degree (a 6-year program) at the National University of Rosario in Argentina in 1999 and his PhD in the area of Control Systems at the University of Newcastle, Australia, in 2003. In 2003, he moved to the UK and took a position as a Research Fellow at the Mechatronics Centre of the University of Wales, Newport, where he worked on fault diagnosis and control of propulsion systems for underwater vehicles – a collaboration with Seaeye Marine (SAAB). In July 2004, Tristan moved to Norway, where he spent three and a half years at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). He was a Senior Research Fellow at the CoE for Ships of Ocean Structures (CeSOS). At CeSOS, he conducted research on mathematical modelling of ship dynamics for manoeuvring in a seaway, ship roll stabilisation, and control allocation for ship dynamic positioning. Tristan was also a lecturer in marine control systems. In 2007, he moved back to Australia to the ARC-CoE for Complex Dynamic Systems and Control (CDSC) at the University of Newcastle (UoN). At CDSC, he developed a research program on dynamics and motion control of marine and aerospace vehicles. Within this program, he led 11 projects with 5 industry partners from Australia, New Zealand, Spain, and Norway.In 2010, Tristan was appointed A/Prof of Mechatronics at the University of Newcastle (UoN), where he undertook the re-development of the BEng Mechatronics program and developed the laboratory for autonomous systems and robotics. Also from 2009 to 2012, Tristan was appointed Adjoint A/Prof of Ship Dynamics at NTNU (Norway).In April 2014, Tristan was appointed Professor of Robotics at the School of Electrical Eng. & Computer Science at Queensland Unoveristy of Technology (QUT).

At the Queensland Brain Institure - The Universtiy of Queensland, Tristan conducts research in the area of bio-inspired robotics in collaboration with Prof Mandyam Srinivasan. Prof Srinivasan and Prof Perez have two projects that seek to draw inspiration from nature to address aspects of guidance, navigation, and motion control for unmanned aircraft.

  • The first project (ARC-LP - a collaboration among Boeing Research & Technology Australia, UQ, and QUT) seeks to develop strategies for mid-air collision avoidance in aircraft based on bird behaviours. Birds seldom collide with each other and other objects, despite the high speeds at which they fly in complex environments. In this research, we will study how birds use sensory information, make decisions, and perform manoeuvres, and draw inspiration from experiments on bird flight to develop and test novel strategies for the detection and avoidance of potential aircraft mid-air collisions.
  • The second project (ARC -DP) seeks to investigate and model how aggressive honeybees pursue and intercept moving targets, and use the results to design novel, biologically inspired guidance systems for unmanned aircraft that are engaged in surveillance, security and safety missions. Although it is well known that aggressive honeybees are very effective at detecting, pursuing and intercepting moving targets, this behaviour has never been studied quantitatively. We will use high-speed video cinematography to investigate this behaviour, to develop visual algorithms for the detection of moving targets, and to create dynamical models of the mechanisms that control pursuit. The resulting algorithms will be incorporated into unmanned aircraft for detecting, monitoring and tracking other objects in the sky, and their performance will be evaluated. The results will provide a better understanding of the biological basis of pursuit behaviour, as well as lead to novel technologies for aerial surveillance and safety.