Three very Smart Ideas

22 September 2017

Michael Cree and John Perrone, preparing a drone

Michael Cree and John Perrone, preparing a drone

University of Waikato researchers have won three lots of funding from the government worth nearly three million dollars.

The money is from the Endeavour Fund’s Smart Ideas programme, designed to invest in promising, innovative research with high potential to benefit New Zealand.

John Perrone and Michael Cree have been awarded $999,759 to use the way humans see to create a drone which can navigate its own way in the world. Associate Professor Perrone’s been studying how the human visual system works for about 30 years, and he’s putting the knowledge into practice with Dr Cree’s expertise in engineering. Their smart cameras could help drones, robots or even cars make their way independently through tricky environments – saving money and time. Associate Professor Perrone is with the School of Psychology and Dr Cree is with the School of Engineering.

When the Internet of Things makes your house turn against you, Dr Matthew Luckie might be there to save the day. The senior lecturer in Computer Science has been awarded $997,182 to produce a system that will find out, then warn people if their home systems have been compromised.

Dr Lee Streeter, from the Faculty of Science and Engineering, has been given $953,424 to come up with a system that removes the motion-blur problem in cameras, creating improved data quality. That could have practical applications including speeding up the endlessly slow process of getting your baggage off the carousel at the airport.