ICRA 2018 Workshop on Robotic Vision and Action in Agriculture

Robotic Vision and Action in Agriculture: the future of agri-food systems and its deployment to the real-world

This half-day workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to discuss advances in robotics applications and the intersection of these advances with agricultural practices. As such, the workshop will focus not only on recent advancements in vision systems and action but it will also explore what this means for agricultural practices and how robotics can be used to better manage and understand the crop and environment.


Motivation and Objectives

Agriculture robotics faces a number of unique challenges and operates at the intersection of applied robotic vision, manipulation and crop science. Robotics will provide a key role in improving productivity, increasing crop quality and even enabling individualised weed and crop treatment. All of these advancements are integral for providing food to a growing population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, requiring agricultural production to double in order to meet food demands.

This half-day workshop brings together researchers and industry working on novel approaches for long term operation across changing agricultural environments, including broad-acre crops, orchard crops, nurseries and greenhouses, and horticulture. It will also host, Prof. Achim Walter, an internationally renowned crop scientist who will provide a unique perspective on the far future of how robotics can further revolutionise agriculture.

The goal of the workshop is to discuss the future of agricultural robotics and how thinking and acting with a robot in the field enables a range of different applications and approaches. A particular emphasis will be placed on vision and action that works in the field by coping with changes in appearance and geometry of the environment. Learning how to interact within this complicated environment will also be of special interest to the workshop as will be the alternative applications enabled by better understanding and exploiting the link between robotics and crop science.

List of Topics

Topics of interest to this workshop include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Novel perception for agricultural robots including passive and active methods
  • Manipulators for harvesting, soil preparation and crop protection
  • Long-term autonomy and navigation in unstructured environments
  • Data analytics and real-time decision making with robots-in-the-loop
  • Low-cost sensing and algorithms for day/night operation, and
  • User interfaces for end-users
  • Invited Presenters

The workshop will feature the following distinguished experts for invited talks:

  • Prof. Achim Walter (ETHZ Department of Environmental Systems Science)
  • Prof. Qin Zhang (Washington State University)
  • Dr David Ball (BOSCH)
  • Dr Jim Ostrowski (Blue River Technology)

Call for Papers

Paper submission is now open and available here. Papers should follow the usual ICRA guidelines for style and be between 4-6 pages in length. All submissions must be in PDF format and rendered without error using standard viewers. The papers will be reviewed and commented upon by members of the program committee. Submitted papers must differ significantly in content from previously published papers and must not be currently under review for other publication. The accepted papers will be published on the workshop website. Accepted papers will be presented at the workshop and authors are expected to give a short spotlight presentation followed by a poster presentation.

Important Dates

  • 23rd of April: Deadline for submission of contributed papers
  • 11th of May: Notification of acceptance for contributed papers
  • 25th of May: Workshop held at ICRA (afternoon session)


Timing Event
1:30 – 1:35 Welcome & Introduction
1:35 — 2:10 Invited Speaker, Prof. Achim Walter, (ETHZ Department of Environmental Systems Science)
2:10 — 2:45 Invited Speaker, Prof. Qin Zhang (Washington State University)
2:45 — 3:00 QUT Agricultural Robotics (Prof. Tristan Perez) and Poster Introductions
3:00 — 3:30 Afternoon Tea and Poster Presentations
3:30 — 4:05 Invited Speaker, Dr David Ball (BOSCH)
4:05 — 4:40 Invited Speaker, Dr Jim Ostrowski (Blue River Technology)
4:40 — 5:00 Wrap up and Discussion Panel

List of Accepted Papers

End-to-end Learning for Autonomous Navigation for Agricultural Robots (pdf)

Marianne Bakken, Richard Moore and Pål From

Vision-guided robotic leaf picking (pdf)

Benjamin Joffe, Konrad Ahlin, Ai-Ping Hu and Gary McMurray

Discrete Event Simulations for Scalability Analysis of Robotic In-Field Logistics in Agriculture — A Case Study (pdf)

Gautham Das, Grzegorz Cielniak, Pal From and Marc Hanheide

Design and Optimization of the Target Spray Platform (pdf)

Mingchuan Zhou, Huanyu Jiang, Weinan Shi and Alois Knoll

Performance Evaluation of Multiple UAV Systems for Remote Sensing in Agriculture (pdf)

Chanyoung Ju and Il Son Hyoung

Deep Neural Network-based Recognition of Green Perilla Leaves for Robotic Harvest Support in Greenhouse Horticulture (pdf)

Hiroaki Masuzawa and Jun Miura

Cane Detection and Localization for Automated Cane Management in Red Raspberry Plant (pdf)

Santosh Bhusal, Kapil Khanal, Manoj Karkee and Qin Zhang

Fruit load estimation in mango orchards – a method comparison (pdf)

James Underwood, Moshiur Rahman, Andrew Robson, Anand Koirala, Zhenglin Wang and Kerry Walsh

Soil Compaction Mapping Through Robot Exploration: A Study into Kriging Parameters (pdf)

Jaime Pulido Fentanes, Iain Gould, Tom Duckett, Simon Pearson and Grzegorz Cielniak

Going against the Grain: Real-Time Classification of Grain Quality (pdf)

Zachary Pezzementi, Carl Wellington, Trenton Tabor, Cason Male, Herman Herman and Scott Miller

Photos from the Event

We’d like to thank the speakers and all the attendees who made this a fantastic workshop!


Chris McCool
Australian Centre of Excellence for Robotic Vision
Queensland University of Technology

Chris Lehnert
Australian Centre of Excellence for Robotic Vision
Queensland University of Technology

Inkyu Sa
ETH Zurich
Autonomous Systems Laboratory

Juan Nieto
ETH Zurich
Autonomous Systems Laboratory

Cyrill Stachniss
University of Bonn
Photogrammetry, IGG