Australia's Chief Scientist

Australian Science Superheroes – Michael Milford

“We draw inspiration from nature’s amazing creations to develop smarter, more capable robots.”

Australian scientists work right across every inch of our sunburnt country, and across every field of discovery. Now, the Office of the Chief Scientist is shining a light on some of the Australian Science Superheroes with the #AusScienceHeroes campaign.

Check back regularly for new profiles, and make sure you check out the Chief Scientist Facebook and twitter accounts for more coverage.

Professor Michael Milford
@maththrills
ARC Future Fellow
Microsoft Fellow
Chief Investigator at the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision


1) What is your science superpower?

My science superpower is teamwork: we collaborate with neuroscientists, biologists, philosophers, computer scientists and industry to develop new technologies for robots and autonomous vehicles and shed new light on how natural systems, including the brain, achieve the incredible things they do.


2) The year is 2030. How has life changed as a result of your research? 

Robots of all types are operating in the home, at work and in society around us including autonomous vehicles. These robots are widely deployed and reliable in all environmental conditions, thanks to the robust algorithms we have developed to help them “see”.


3) What drew you to science in the first place? 

I’ve been fascinated by the concept of intelligence my entire life: what makes us who we are, and how can we draw inspiration from nature’s amazing creations to develop smarter, more capable robots?


4) When you’re not wearing your science superhero cape, what do you get up to? 

I love unwinding and learning with my two young kids, and I have two awesome hobbies. The first is rating the major Hollywood blockbusters on the quality of their science content (you can check out my verdicts on The Conversation), and the second is working on my educational start-up, Math Thrills, which combines entertainment with STEM-based education for early childhood, school students and adults.