Engineering Seminar Series 10_2010: Camera-in-hand Robotic System for Remote Monitoring of Plant Growth in a Laboratory

Dr Gourab Sen Gupta, Senior Lecturer at the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology (SEAT), Massey University, New Zealand.

Date: 2010-07-19
Time: 11:00 to 12:00
Venue: Tutorial room 9-5-04


This presentation will detail the design of a remote controlled robotic arm which has been developed for the purpose of remote monitoring plant tissue growth in research projects conducted by Crop & Food Research Limited, New Zealand. The robotic arm consists of light weight aluminium tubing with low voltage, high torque servo motors providing the movements for the various joints. A compact colour zoom camera, on a pan and tilt mount, is mounted to the end of the arm. Customised Visual Basic software has been developed to control the arm through a servo control board. The software can capture the plant images and store them in a database for subsequent processing. The position of the arm and all camera operations can be remote controlled, either from the GUI on the PC screen, or through a joystick. The arm can be programmed to move to predefined positions at set times and capture images automatically without the need for human input. The system has been made wireless using ZigBee transceivers and successfully tested in a laboratory environment.

About the Speaker

Dr Gourab Sen Gupta received his B.E. (Electronics) degree from the University of Indore, India, in 1982, Master of Electronics Engineering (MEE) degree from the Philips International Institute, Technical University of Eindhoven, Holland, in 1984 and PhD in Computer Systems Engineering from Massey University in 2008. After working for 5 years as a Software Engineer in Philips India in the Consumer Electronics division, he joined the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Singapore Polytechnic in 1989. Since September 2002 he has been a Senior Lecturer at the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology (SEAT), Massey University, New Zealand.

His current research interests are in the area of embedded systems, robotics, real-time vision processing, behaviour programming for multi-agent collaboration and sensor applications. He has published over 80 papers in various journals and conferences. He has authored two books, one each on computer programming language VB.NET and Embedded Programming. He has been a guest editor for leading journals such as IEEE Sensors Journal, International Journal of Intelligent Systems Technologies and Applications (IJISTA), and Studies in Computational Intelligence (Special Issue on Autonomous Robots and Agents) by Springer-Verlag. He has served on the organising committee of several internal conferences. He is a senior member of IEEE.