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Agriforwards CDT


'Agriforwards' CDT Science Seminars

19 March 2021
Series 1
Seminar: 7
Title: Working with and along-side humans in agricultural robotics
Speaker: Prof Marc Hanheide, Director of the Agriforwards CDT


While full automation is considered often considered the holy grail in agricultural applications addressing labour shortages and unfavourable working conditions, the journey towards automation to date requires collaboration and co-habituation of robots and human workers in the field while already offering substantial productivity gains and improvements. In this talk, Marc will be presenting some solutions and insights on robots working with and alongside humans in agricultural domains. Be this helping fruit harvesting, collaborating in logistics, or collecting data for increased farm intelligence and yield forecasting. Insights from a number of funded projects in the domain of strawberry production will underpin this presentation, covering aspects of safety, collaboration, and adaptation of robotics systems. Marc will cover latest developments at the University of Lincoln on multimodal detection and tracking of people in agricultural fields, interaction design for agricultural workers, and long-term deployment and coordination of robotic fleets in soft-fruit production.

Brief biography:

Marc Hanheide is a Professor of Intelligent Robotics & Interactive Systems in the School of Computer Science at the University of Lincoln, UK and the Director of the University’s cross-disciplinary research centre in Robotics, the Lincoln Centre for Autonomous Systems (L-CAS). He received the Diploma in computer science from Bielefeld University, Germany, in 2001 and the Ph.D. degree (Dr.-Ing.) also in computer science also from Bielefeld University in 2006. In 2001, he joined the Applied Informatics Group at the Technical Faculty of Bielefeld University. From 2006 to 2009 he held a position as a senior researcher in the Applied Computer Science Group. From 2009 until 2011, he was a research fellow at the School of Computer Science at the University of Birmingham, UK. Marc Hanheide is a PI in many national and international research projects, funded by H2020, EPSRC, InnovateUK, DFG, industry partners, and others, as well as the Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Doctoral Training in Agri-Food Robotics (AgriFoRwArdS).

The STRANDS, ILIAD, RASberry, and NCNR projects are among the bigger projects he is or was involved with. In all his work, he researches autonomous robots, human-robot interaction, interaction-enabling technologies, and system architectures. Marc Hanheide specifically focuses on aspects of long-term robotic behaviour and human-robot interaction and adaptation. He features regularly in public media, has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, and is actively engaged in promoting the public understanding of science through appearances in dedicated events, media appearances, and public lectures.

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