EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Agri-Food Robotics: AgriFoRwArdS - Xumin Gao

Xumin Gao

  • University of Lincoln in collaboration with British Beet Research Organisation

Research Interests

Xumin’s research interests include, computer vision, robot perception, and multi-sensor fusion.

Publications

Posters

  • Automatic aphid counting based on yellow water pan trap imagery and deep learning @ AgriFoRwArdS CDT Annual Conference 2022 (June 2022)
  • Automatic Aphid Counting Based on the Yellow Water Pan Trap Imagery and Deep Learning @ University of Lincoln Postgraduate Research Showcase 2023 (February 2023)
  • Automatic Aphid Counting Based on The Yellow Water Pan Trap Imagery and Deep Learning @ The Towards Autonomous Robots and Systems (TAROS) Conference 2023 / CDT Annual Conference / Joint Robotics CDT Conference (September 2023)

Other activities

  • Represented the CDT at the Douglas Bomford Trust bi-annual meeting (March 2022).
  • Represented the CDT at the school outreach University of Lincoln British Science Week event 2022 (March 2022).
  • Demonstrated agri-robotics during a school outreach visit to the University of Lincoln Riseholme Campus (June 2022).
  • Demonstrated agri-robotics at the Innovate UK KTN Joint Sector Advisory Board at the University of Lincoln Riseholme Campus (October 2023).

About me

My name is Xumin Gao, I come from China. I have studied and did research work at the Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems, Wuhan University of Science and Technology. My research was mainly focused on computer vision and robot perception.

After graduating from university, I worked in an autonomous vehicle company, and worked on the algorithm development of computer vision, including vehicle recognition, vehicle feature point extraction. Then I worked in an intelligent agricultural technology company. I was mainly responsible for image-based poisonous weed detection and segmentation for autonomous weeding robots and UAVs, as well as satellite imagery segmentation for farmland monitoring.

I am a robot lover. At present, I have made many robots, including dancing robots,  indoor service robots, weeding robots and so on. If you want to see these lovely robots, you can visit this website. In my spare time, I especially like dancing (I can dance at least five different dances), hiking and exploring some natural life. Sometimes, I also like to record my life and feelings by writing.

The reason why I chose to join the AgriFoRwArdS CDT is that this project is especially close to my research area of interest. In addition, the work experience I have makes me realise that intelligent agricultural robots have great potential development space at present. I will be studying my PhD at the University of Lincoln. I look forward to meeting other AgriFoRwArdS CDT members and working with them. At the same time, I believe I will have a good time in Lincoln.

MSc Project

Automatic aphid counting based on yellow water pan trap imagery and deep learning

Aphids can cause direct damage and indirect virus transmission to crops. Timely monitoring the number of aphids can prevent the large-scale outbreak of aphids. However, the manual counting of aphids which is commonly used at present is inefficient, and it requires professional staff to complete it. Therefore, this project designs an automatic aphid counting network based on deep learning to replace the manual counting. Moreover, on this basis, we will challenge the common difficulties of automatic aphids counting, including dense distribution of aphids, tiny size of aphids and so on. It can monitor aphids automatically and accurately, so as to protect crop growth and improve crop yields.

PhD Project

Automatic aphid counting based on deep learning and robotics technology in unstructured agriculture environments

Aphids can cause direct damage and indirect virus transmission to crops. Timely monitoring the number of aphids can prevent the large-scale outbreak of aphids. However, the manual counting of aphids which is commonly used at present is inefficient, and it requires professional staff to complete it. Therefore, the automatic aphid counting has become an urgent demand and research hot topic. 

Firstly, we will design a CNN that automatically counts aphids and can adapt to deny distribution of aphids, small size of aphids and so on. Secondly, we will use robotic technology to help realize automatic aphid counting. Specifically, we will design robot automatic navigation algorithm which can make the agricultural robots find the fixed-point device for collecting aphids. Finally, we will set up a remote transmission network to transmit the aphid counting results and corresponding location coordinates back to the customer service terminal in time. 

Students will complete this work under the guidance of academic supervisor and industry supervisor in the professional field. In this process, students will have a deeper understanding and exploration of deep learning and robotics technology in the agricultural field. At the same time, in the whole process of project implementation, students will experience project management and personnel coordination, so as to gain relevant experience. 

Xumin’s PhD project is being carried out in collaboration with the British Beet Research Organisation (BBRO), with primary supervision by Dr Junfeng Gao.