Type: Book

Robotics and automation for improving agriculture


Dr John Billingsley is Professor of Mechatronic Engineering at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. He is a Fellow of the IET (UK), past Fellow of Engineers Australia as well as a Senior Member of the IEEE (USA). Professor Billingsley was one of the founders of Australia’s National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture (NCEA), recently renamed the Centre for Agricultural Engineering. He has published widely on control theory and robotics.



Publication date:

26 July 2019

Length of book:

360 pages

ISBN-13: 9781786762726

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This book provides a comprehensive review of key advances in the use of robots in agriculture.

Chapters summarise developments in location and guidance systems, GPS technologies, machine vision, navigation, actuation, communication and control technologies. The second part of the book discusses deploying these techniques to save labour, improve precision, speed and efficiency in agricultural operations.

Chapters review the state of the art on the use of agricultural robots in planting, crop monitoring, spraying, irrigation and weed management. There are also reviews of orchard management and harvesting, harvesting of soft fruit and in-field grading of harvested produce. Other chapters cover the application of robotics in the livestock sector.

Key features

  • Primary focus on developing fully autonomous robotic systems in agriculture 
  • Comprehensive review of advances in the key technologies underpinning agricultural robotics
  • Particularly strong coverage of the applications of agricultural robotics in different aspects of crop management from planting to harvesting

What others are saying...

"The challenges of robotics and automation dealt with in this book are pivotal to progressing this area of biosystems engineering and technology development in agriculture. In particular, the international range of expert knowledge in these chapters creates a key reference and a scientific basis for the systems-oriented and interdisciplinary approach we need in this area."
Professor Claus Grøn Sørensen, former President of EurAgEng, Head of Research Unit and Smart Farming Centre, Aarhus University, Denmark

Table of contents

Part 1 Technologies
1.Advances in machine vision technologies for agricultural robots: John Billingsley, University of Southern Queensland, Australia;
2.Advances in actuation and control in agricultural robots: Pal From, Lincoln University, UK;
3.Advances in communication/control systems in agricultural robots: Scott Shearer, Ohio State University, USA;
4.Advances in human-robot collaboration in agricultural robots: Yael Edan, Ben Gurion University, Israel;
5.A brief overview of global positioning systems (GPS) for agriculture: John Billingsley, University of Southern Queensland, Australia;

Part 2 Applications
6.Use of agricultural robots in crop spraying/fertiliser application: Ron Berenstein, University of California-Berkeley, USA;
7.Use of intelligent/autonomous systems in crop irrigation: Stefano Carpin, University of California-Merced, USA;
8.The use of agricultural robots in weed monitoring and control: Brian Steward, Iowa State University, USA;
9.The use of agricultural robots in orchard management: Qin Zhang, Washington University, USA;
10.Advances in automated in-field grading of harvested crops: Jose Blasco, IVIA, Spain;
11.Advances in using robots in forestry operations: Ola Lindroos and Omar Mendoza-Trejo, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Sweden; Pedro La Hera, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and The Cluster of Forest Technology, Sweden; and Daniel Ortiz Morales, Cranab, Sweden;
12.Advances in robotic milking: Marcia Endres and Jim Salfer, University of Minnesota, USA;
13.Advances in use of robots in meat processing operations: Ai-Ping Hu, Georgia Tech, USA;