It’s a great day for the PhenoRob research community! Our new partner project “RegisTer” has secured funding from the BMEL for three years, and we are excited about the promising new findings of their work. The interdisciplinary project RegisTer aims to develop automated routines for the characterization and evaluation of sugar beet varieties based on optical/reflective properties of the plants. Sugar beet is an important part of the economic development in rural areas, and the plants have to endure a high tolerance to stress and disease while having a high yield. Thus, modern and better varieties have to be bred. For each newly bred sugar beet variety, an analysis of the sugar beet must be carried out concerning its distinctness from other varieties and its performance and value characteristics over several years and is finally proven by the Bundessortenamt (Federal plant variety office) for approval. The required but time-intensive manual phenotyping work for these tasks could be replaced through the work of “RegisTer,” which aims to implement plant phenotyping pipelines based on Machine Learning techniques using 3D sensors and high-resolution RGB and multispectral images coming from ultralight drones. This brings the potential opportunity to increase the precision and lower the manual work for breeders and the approval process of the Bundessortenamt.
Great news for one of our partner projects! The German Research Foundation extends the research unit 2535 “Anticipating Human Behavior” for three more years. Since 2017, Prof. Dr. Jürgen Gall and his team of researchers have been developing methods on how to analyse complex interactions between humans and robots as well as examine new technologies for service robots. Their goal is to create a framework that is able to anticipate human actions and the resulting future situations. Here, you can find out more about the project.
Another milestone for PhenoRob and the agricultural research community: Together with two of the leading universities of the world, ETH Zurich in Switzerland and Lincoln University in the UK, PhenoRob will host the International Summer School “Agricultural Robotics” at the University of Bonn from August 23-27, 2021. “We are very happy about the generous funding by the DAAD Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst. The Summer School will be a wonderful opportunity for our Master’s and PhD students to get valuable insights into the excellent research that is being done in PhenoRob”, says Nora Berning, Chief Administrative Officer of the Cluster of Excellence PhenoRob. Over the course of five days, 40 young researchers will have the chance to participate in scientific workshops, discussions, trainings and joint activities led by the Cluster’s researchers. The topics covered in the workshops include Machine Learning, Graph-based Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM), Robot Perception, Economics of Robotics and Sensing Applications in Agriculture and many more. In light of the excellent line-up, the Cluster is very much looking forward to a productive, informative and memorable week next summer.
According to the international ranking “Highly Cited Researchers 2020”, one of our Principal Investigators Prof. Dr. Frank Ewert belongs to the top 1% of researchers worldwide. His scientific papers and his academic work are leading the way in his field of Agricultural Sciences and influence the research of numerous scientists around the world. You can read about the full ranking here and review the publications of Prof. Dr. Ewert here.