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Efficient pruning strategies for agricultural robots using vision systems

   School of Engineering & Physical Sciences

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  Assoc Prof FA Auat  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Robotics in agriculture is currently a growing industry, mainly motivated by the lack of human labour force and the always increasing industry expectations. This project is focused on developing efficient pruning strategies for orchards, using vision systems (that might include LiDAR -light detection and ranging sensors- and mobile manipulators equipped with the appropriate tool for pruning. Among the challenges to face are the following: the geometric characterization of the canopies, the computational model of the expected canopy after pruning, the motion strategy of the mobile manipulator (which is a robotic arm mounted on a mobile robot) and the strategy for the pruning tool motion. The later is aimed at optimizing energy resources and space coverage. It is expected the use of artificial intelligence tools for processing the information, and control systems strategy for the motion of the robotic device.

All applicants must have or expect to have a 1st class MChem, MPhys, MEng, MSci or equivalent degree by Summer 2023. Selection will be based on academic excellence and research potential, and all short-listed applicants will be interviewed (in person or via Teams).

Closing Date: 9 of February 2023. All successful candidates must commence studies as soon as possible.

How to Apply


When applying through the Heriot-Watt on-line system please ensure you provide the following information:

(a) in ‘Study Option’

You will need to select ‘Edinburgh’ and ‘Postgraduate Research’. ‘Programme’ presents you with a drop-down menu. Choose Bio-engineering and Bio-sciences PhD/Chemistry PhD/Physics PhD/Electrical PhD/ Mechanical Engineering PhD for study option

(b) in ‘Research Project Information’

You will be provided with a free text box for details of your research project. Enter Title of the project for which you are applying and also enter the supervisor’s name.

This information will greatly assist us in tracking your application.

For questions about the application process, please contact [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

Scholarship: minimum of £17668 (UKRI level), funding source DTP, 42 months
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