Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Robotic research takes flight

04.05.2007
Robotic planes that help farmers monitor animal health, crop conditions and water use are flying out of the University of Nottingham’s newest overseas research centre.

The Geospatial Research Centre has been officially launched at its base in Christchurch, New Zealand, this month. The Centre is a joint venture between the Universities of Nottingham and Canterbury, and the Canterbury Development Corporation, and carries out research and consultancy in the fields of positioning and orientation, with particular expertise in sensor integration, image analysis, data visualisation and electronics. It bridges the gap between n academia and industry, spinning out a range of innovative new technologies to be used in areas including agriculture and forestry, environmental monitoring and management, transport and health.

Geospatial research covers the gathering and interpretation of geographic information through the use of new technologies such as satellite navigation devices. The unmanned robotic planes currently being developed could potentially be used in a range of applications from farming to search and rescue to atmospheric monitoring.

The director of the new centre is Dr David Park, formerly of the University of Nottingham’s Institute of Engineering Surveying and Space Geodesy (IESSG), moved to Christchurch with four colleagues in 2006. The new Geospatial Research Centre was established in the University of Canterbury’s New Zealand ICT Innovation Institute — part of the College of Engineering.

The New Zealand government has given NZ$2m, with regional funding providing an extra NZ$900,000. It is thought the centre will be self-supporting by the end of 2009 — with funding from industry, project-related research grants, IP licensing and PhD supervision fees.

By being based on New Zealand’s South Island, researchers can take advantage of the huge range of habitats available at close hand.

“The range of physical environments that are available for research on the South Island within a few hours of Christchurch in terms of oceans , rain forest, glaciers, mountains, cliffs and agriculture of all types, makes it all very exciting,” said Dr Park. ”We can work in partnership with domain specific users to develop technologies for a particular application or market and can then very easily test them in the real world, in realistic conditions.”

The centre is already trailing an unmanned aircraft fitted with a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, imaging systems and communications facilities. Technology on board collates and feeds information to a central computer.

“The idea is to develop a model that would retail for about NZ$10,000 [£3,500] and which would be no more than a couple of metres in size and packed with electronics and sensor devices,” added Dr Park.

Other innovative research being carried out in the centre includes the development of miniaturised, low cost positioning sensors; exploring how the latest range of Digital Signal Processing hardware can be used for real time image analysis; and the evaluation of new communications and positioning systems that do not require any traditional electronic hardware.

Representatives from the university travelled to New Zealand for the centre’s official launch, including Professor of Geodesy Alan Dodson and Professor Terry Moore.

Professor Moore, Director of the IESSG, said: “We are delighted to join our colleagues in New Zealand for the launch of this exciting new venture. The GRC will offer great opportunities for collaborative research between the IESSG and the GRC and with a broad range of new potential partners in New Zealand. Through the GRC we will encourage staff and student exchange between Nottingham and Christchurch.”

Nottingham is the UK's most pioneering university for the internationalisation of education and its strategy and approach has been rewarded with the Queen's Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2006. Few other universities in the world can boast the scale of overseas investment that has been undertaken by The University of Nottingham. It was the first UK university to establish a campus overseas, in Malaysia, and made history again when it became the world's first university to be granted a licence to open an overseas campus on mainland China, which was officially opened in Ningbo in February 2006.

The new Geospatial Research Centre represents an alternative element in the University's internationalisation strategy. Unlike its overseas campuses, the new facility will offer no formal teaching, with a small amount of PhD supervision and will concentrate instead on the commercialisation of its world-changing research.

For more information on the Geospatial Research Centre visit www.grcnz.com

Emma Thorne | alfa
Further information:
http://www.grcnz.com
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/public-affairs/press-releases/index.phtml?menu=pressreleases&code=ROBO-82/07&create_date=03-may-2007

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Alkaline soil, sensible sensor
03.08.2017 | American Society of Agronomy

nachricht New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers
26.06.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>