Robotics Research Seminar 24/5/17: “Making Robust SLAM Solvers for Autonomous Mobile Robots”

We invite everybody to attend the robotics research seminar, organised by L-CAS, on Wednesday 24/5/2017:

grisettiDr Giorgio Grisetti, DIAG, University of Rome “Sapienza”:

Making Robust SLAM Solvers for Autonomous Mobile Robots

  • WHERE: AAD1W11, Lecture Theatre (Art, Architecture and Design Building), Brayford Pool Campus
  • WHEN: Wednesday 24th May 2017, 3:00 – 4:00 pm


In robotics, simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) is the computational problem of constructing or updating a map of an unknown environment while simultaneously keeping track of an agent’s location within it.

SLAM is an essential enabling technology for building truly autonomous robots that can operate in an unknown environment. The last three decades have seen substantial research in the field and modern SLAM systems are able to cope easily with operating conditions that in the past were regarded as challenging if not impossible to deal with.

This consideration might support the statement that SLAM is a closed problem. However a closer look at the contributions presented in the most relevant conferences and journals in robotics reveals that the papers on SLAM are still numerous and the community is large. Would this be the case if an off-the shelf solution that works all the time were available?

Non-experts that approach the problem, or even want to get one of the state-of-the-art systems running, often encounter problems and get performances that are far from the ones reported in the papers.  This is usually because the person using the system is not the person designing the system.  An open box approach that aims at solving the problems by modifying an existing pipeline is often hard to implement due to the complexity of modern SLAM systems.

In this talk we will overview the history of SLAM and we will outline some of the challenges in designing robust SLAM systems, and most importantly forming robust SLAM solvers.

Furthermore, we will also present PRO-SLAM (SLAM from a programmer’s perspective), a simplistic open-source pipeline that competes with state-of-the art Stereo Visual SLAM systems while focusing on simplicity to support teaching.

Prof Duckett to speak at Agri-Robotics event

Robotics, automation and associated technologies

As part of Arable Horizons hosted by Farmers Weekly, University of Lincoln Professors, Tom Duckett, School of Computer Science / lead for Lincoln Centre for Autonomous Systems and Simon Pearson, Founder of the Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology (LIAT), will be speaking at the National Space Centre, Leicester, on 26th April 2017.

Arable Horizons is a series of 5 interactive talks, hosted by Farmers Weekly and in partnership with Syngenta, which cover some of the most exciting and innovative agricultural research; from robot-assisted farming to gene-edited crops. Exploration into the development of higher yields and cheaper production are key themes, as well as bringing a greener and more stable future for British agriculture.

The topic, “Robotics, automation and associated technologies”, will discuss exactly how robots and other related technologies will make UK farming more efficient than ever, whilst reducing the cost of labour and pesticides.

Pictured is Thorvald, LIAT's Agri-Robot.
Pictured is Thorvald, LIAT’s Agri-Robot.

Editor of Farmers Weekly, Karl Schneider, is a keen supporter of British agriculture: “UK arable farmers face a variety of unprecedented challenges over the next 25 years, from pesticide resistance and soil degradation to climate change and feeding an increasing population. Farmers Weekly, in partnership with Syngenta, want to draw attention to some of the individuals and institutions working to ensure a more productive and sustainable future for UK agriculture. We want to highlight some of the incredibly exciting research projects currently underway in the sector, projects that could genuinely change the way we farm in 2040.”

UK agricultural researchers, scientists and agronomists will be in attendance, as well as the nation’s farmers. The event will be a fantastic opportunity to chat and network with agri-robotic professionals Weekly staff and guest speakers Prof Tom Duckett and Prof Simon Pearson.

You can register for the talks here.

The agenda for the event:

17.30 – 18.00

(30 mins)

Drinks and nibbles will be provided for guests on arrival, with the chance for delegates to network before the formal start of the evening.

18.00 – 18.10

(10 mins) Introduction from Farmers Weekly Editor, Karl Schneider

Karl Schneider will introduce the evening: the idea behind the project, the topic, speakers and guests, partnership with Syngenta, and opportunities for interactivity throughout the talk.

18.10 – 18.50

(40 mins) Prof Tom Duckett presents ‘Robotics, automation and associated technologies’ Arable Horizons talk.

University of Lincoln professor and Head of the Lincoln Centre for Autonomous Systems Tom Duckett presents an introductory overview of the current use of robotics and associated technologies in agriculture and what some of the recent/future advances could mean for UK farmers. Prof. Duckett will talk about some of his own research and how we can work with other industries to make the integration of new machinery and technology into the farmers’ everyday toolkit as simple and productive as possible.


18.50 – 19.15

(25 mins) Prof Simon Pearson presents a talk on the most exciting future agricultural technology projects.

University of Lincoln professor and Founding Director of the Lincoln Institute of Agri Food Technology Simon Pearson presents his talk on some of the specific projects focussed on novel robotics and machinery, their integration into the UK agriculture industry and what it could mean for the farmer on the ground.

19.15 – 20.00

(45 mins) Interactive session with Prof Tom Duckett, Prof Simon Pearson & Karl Schneider

Karl Schneider will chair the interactive session in which the panel will take questions on the topics of robotics and associated technologies from the audience, both from guests in the room and those watching online.

20.00 – 20.20

(20 mins) Presentation from Syngenta on their work in robotics and the potential for the future

A Syngenta expert will present on what they as an organisation are doing in the area of robotics and machinery and how their research could help farmers tackle some of their most common and costly issues.

20.20 Dinner

The new home of of Computer Science at University of Lincoln

The University of Lincoln recently invested £28m to create the Isaac Newton Building – the new home for our School of Computer Science. We join the Schools of Engineering and Maths & Physics in this stunning new setting.

The new building is named after one of Lincolnshire’s greatest sons, Sir Isaac Newton PRS MP, who was born at Woolsthorpe Manor near Grantham.

Current students entered a competition set by the University, which was to create a piece of art for the large signature wall in the Isaac Newton Building. Over 30 entries were received from seven different schools across the University representing a wide range of disciplines.

The large scale artwork is now in-situ

The judging panel deliberated hard, finally selecting an entry created by level one Creative Advertising students Amelia Eddershaw and Orlagh Smith as the winning piece. The judges felt their submission had interpreted the brief creatively and in doing so had presented a dynamic, engaging piece with the high level of impact that the panel was looking for.

The artwork is visible to people making their way to the University from Tritton Road.

This artwork competition has clearly demonstrated the impressive talent available in the University of Lincoln student community and the competition organisers and judging panel would like to extend thanks to all those who took part. An exhibition of the best entries will be on display in the University Library from April 2017.

University of Lincoln, UK