I'm a software developer working for Polymathian, a company that specialises in industrial mathematics. I work on cloud-based software, applying techniques from operations research to inform on scheduling across different industrial applications.

Previously (2015-2019) I was a CoEDL postdoctoral researcher at The University of Queensland, Australia. My research interests were in social robotics and human-robot interaction, particularly around how humans and robots can communicate with each other. My research explored both the technical challenges of human-robot communication and the psychology of how humans could perceive interactions with robots.

I completed my PhD on the Lingodroids project - a project that explores robots communicating with other robots - at the University of Queensland in 2016 under the supervision of Prof. Janet Wiles and Dr. David Ball.


The OPAL Project with The OPAL team Jonathon Taufatofua, Kristyn Sommer, Carlos Andres Ramirez-Brinez, Gautier Durantin, Pauline Pounds and Janet Wiles

The OPAL project is a cross-disciplinary project to create a social robot for interacting with children. During my time working with the OPAL team, a number of prototypes of the Opie robot were developed, with the flagship Opie robot consisting of moving arms and a moving head. Developing a robot that enabled movement in close proximity of the child required careful attention to safety, which became the primary engineering concern for implementing the robot. Different prototypes of the robot have been trialled with over 100 children. More information about the project can be found here.

Opie chat (robot survey) with Jacki Liddle and Janet Wiles

The Opie chat project uses the same platform as the OPAL project to explore interactions between adults and robot through a satisfaction survey. The project implements a chat-bot on Opie, allowing Opie to ask a series of questions to a participant. This paradigm allows us to explore:

Indigenous Language Robot
with The OPAL team Gautier Durantin, Jonathon Taufatofua,
Carlos Andres Ramirez-Brinez and Janet Wiles
, The Ngukurr Language Centre Angelina Barda Joshua, Grant Mathumba Thompson,
Jackie van den Bos and Celeste Humphris
, and CoEDL UQ Greg Dickson and Ben Foley

The Indigenous Language Robot is a collaboration between engineers and linguists at UQ, and the Ngukurr Language Centre, to develop a robot that could be used in community to provide easy access to language resources for children. A portable version of Opie was developed at UQ and existing language games from the Ngukurr Language Centre were adapted for use with the robot. The robot was set up and used for a period in the Ngukurr Language Centre where children were able to interact with the robot. More information is available here and here.

iRat Project with UQ EngineersCarlos Andres Ramirez-Brinez, Ola Olsson, Joshua Arnold, Jonathon Taufatofua, Pauline Pounds and Janet Wiles and UCSD NeuroscientistsEric Leonardis, Emanuel Gygi, Estelita Leija, Laleh Quinn, Luisa Schuster, Marcelo Aguilar-Rivera and Andrea Chiba

The iRat (and subsequent PiRat) is a rat-sized robot designed for interacting with rodents. The iRat project explores how robots can be used to investigate rat social behaviour through developing autonomous frameworks for interacting with rats, to using Wizard-of-Oz (WoZ) control of the robot to give more control over the interaction to an experimenter. The project has particularly focussed on pro-social behaviour in rats and whether robots can evoke that same behaviour. More information on the project can be found here.

Lingodroids with David Ball, Ruth Schulz and Janet Wiles

Lingodroids are language learning robots that play location language games to construct shared lexicons for places, distances, and directions. My work on the Lingodroids project looked at how robots with different sensors and cognition could use statistical learning in order to come to shared understandings of words. There is more information on the Lingodroids project here.

OpenRatSLAM with David Ball, Michael Milford, Gordon Wyeth, Janet Wiles, and Peter Corke

OpenRatSLAM is an open-source, C++ and ROS-based implementation of the RatSLAM algorithm developed by Michael Milford and Gordon Wyeth. The RatSLAM algorithm is a localisation and mapping algorithm inspired from research into the rodent hippocampus (a region in the mammalian brain). The source code is available on Github along with datasets hosted at QUT.

Telerobotics with David Ball, Angus Cummings and Janet Wiles

My honours project was to put a robot (originally a Pioneer 3DX) on the Internet, such that it could be controlled by people through a web interface. This original setup was then adapted (by Angus Cummings) to use the iRat robot. The new interface was based on the robot's map of its environment (created by an early version of OpenRatSLAM) that could then be used to select points for the robot to travel to. The framework was completely autonomous - the robot used a charging dock, and was capable of identifying the dock, and returning to the dock when the battery voltage dropped. The robot was able to operate autonomously for 1 week without human intervention.

Other projects in repositories

These projects that I have worked on / contributed to have code on Github or Gitlab:


I completed my PhD in 2016 and have been working as a postdoctoral research fellow since then. I have around 20 peer-reviewed publications (see below) with 6 journal publications, and 4 publications in top robotics conferences (ICRA and IROS).

I have a background in software engineering, so I am familiar with the following languages and tools:

My complete CV is available here.

Selected Publications

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I have ~20 peer-reviewed papers and abstracts. For a complete list see .


Scott Heath
Software Developer
52 Merivale St, South Brisbane
Queensland 4101 Australia
Email: scott (dot) heath (at) polymathian (dot) com

About my site

My site is of the frankenstein type:
I took some CSS from W3 Schools here and here.
I host my site using Apache and CherryPy.
I use Citation.js for displaying references, and jQuery cause everyone else does.
SSL is enabled using a certificate from Let's encrypt.
Site updated 05/07/2020