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:

30 June 2019

Length of book:

326 pages

ISBN-13: 9781786762726

Request Permissions


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.

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.An overview of machine vision technologies for agricultural robots and automation: John Billingsley, University of Southern Queensland, Australia;
2.Advances in actuation and control in agricultural robots: Pål Johan From, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway and University of Lincoln, UK; and Lars Grimstad, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway;
3.Advances in communication systems in agricultural robots: Christopher Wiegman, Santosh Pitla and Scott Shearer, The Ohio State University, USA;
4.Human–robot collaboration in agricultural robots: Yael Edan, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel;
5.Global positioning systems (GPS) for agriculture: an overview: John Billingsley, University of Southern Queensland, Australia;

Part 2 Applications
6.The use of agricultural robots in crop spraying/fertilizer applications: Ron Berenstein, University of California-Berkeley, USA;
7.The use of intelligent/autonomous systems in crop irrigation: Stefano Carpin, University of California-Merced, USA; Ken Goldberg, University of California-Berkeley, USA; Stavros Vougioukas, University of California-Davis, USA; Ron Berenstein, University of California-Berkeley, USA; and Josh Viers, University of California-Merced, USA;
8.The use of agricultural robots in weed management and control: Brian Steward, Jingyao Gai and Lie Tang, Iowa State University, USA;
9.The use of agricultural robots in orchard management: Qin Zhang and Manoj Karkee, Washington University, USA; and Amy Tabb, USDA-ARS, USA;
10.Advances in automated in-field grading of harvested crops: Jose Blasco, María Gyomar González González, Patricia Chueca and Sergio Cubero, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Agrarias (IVIA), Spain; and Nuria Aleixos, Universitat Politècnica de València, 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 automating meat processing operations: Ai-Ping Hu, Georgia Tech Research Institute, USA;