Digital plant phenotyping and agri-food robotics

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Please note that, at this stage, this event is fully booked. Nevertheless, you are most welcome to register for this event, and accordingly, we will place you in a waiting list. Should any of the registered participants cancel his/her registration (which is quite common), we will notify you and ask you whether you would still like to participate in this event. If we do not contact you again with respect to this event, you may assume that no vacancies have arisen.

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WUR-AgriFoRwArdS joint summer school

Digital plant phenotyping and agri-food robotics

8-12 July 2024

Parkhotel 'de Bosrand', Ede, the Netherlands



At Wageningen University and Research and at the centre for doctoral training AgriForwards in the UK, research is done on the topic of plant phenotyping and plant monitoring using techniques from computer vision and robotics. In this summer school, we want to bring together young researchers from both institutes with the aim to share knowledge, learn together, and to build an international research community.

AgriForwards is a centre for doctoral training in agri-food robotics. It is a joint program with 50 PhD candidates from the universities of Lincoln, Cambridge and East-Anglia. The PhD candidates work on diverse topics, related to sensing and perception, mobile autonomy, robotic manipulation, and human-robot collaboration, with applications in the agri-food sector.

This summer school is in the form of a hackathon with the concept of learn-by-doing. PhD candidates, postdocs, and young researchers from both institutes will be mixed into small teams to actively work together on a research challenge of your preference, ranging from implementing AI methods to process images of plants and fields to programming robots to operate in agricultural environments. The teams will be supervised by experts from WUR and AgriForwards.

This summer school will be very hands-on, meaning that you will spend a lot of time in programming, working with data, and testing your solutions. It will be an immersive experience, as we will stay in a hotel together. During the day, we will work either at the hotel or in one of the WUR labs. We will have sufficient social activities to get to know each other and to have fun together.

Course set-up

The course consists of a set of lectures and group work where participants work on a agri-food robotics challenge. The course will start off with a poster carousel in which participants introduce themselves via a poster. Each round lasts 15 minutes (5 minutes introduction and 10 minutes questions and discussion). Posters will remain in the lecture room throughout the course. Prior to the course participants will receive a poster format which can be used to make the poster. Posters are sent in PDF to the course office where the posters will be printed.

Mornings start off with introduction lectures on the topic of plant phenotyping and monitoring. There will be speakers with a background in biology and agronomy to motivate the need for computer vision and robotics to boost plant science, plant breeding, and crop production.

Most of the day will be spent on working on the challenges. The challenges will be announced on the website and prior to the start of the school, participants will indicate which challenge they want to work on. On the first day of the course participants introduced to their fellow team-mates and academic advisor who will supervise the group when working on the challenge, and introduced to the challenge specifically. To tackle the challenge participants will need to develop concepts, write code, test your system, and evaluate the results. Apart from the technological advancements, you will be asked to reflect on the sustainability of your approach and on the ethical, legal, and social aspects of the technologies that you develop. On Friday, results from all groups will be shared and discussed. Work will be mixed with lab visits and social activities.

The challenges
The exact challenges will be decided at a later stage. In general, there will be three types of challenges:

  • Database challenges: here, you will get annotated datasets containing images of plants. Some challenges will be focused on plant phenotyping, with the aim to extract information about plant traits from images and 3D point clouds. Other challenges will contain aerial images collected by UAVs to monitor plant development or detect diseases.
  •  Simulation challenges: robotic simulations will be available to develop methods for robotic perception and control. Examples are a robot arm with camera as end effector that needs to actively reconstruct simulated plants, and a simulated vineyard with the aim to reconstruct the environment or before autonomous navigation.
  • Robot challenges: some real robotic setups will be available.
Course Organisers
  • Gert Kootstra, Wageningen University and Research
  • Grzegorz Cielniak, University of Lincoln
  • Marc Hanheide, University of Lincoln
  • Kate Smith, University of Lincoln
  • April Cadzow, University of Lincoln
  • Claudius van de Vijver, PE&RC  
General information
Target Group PhD candidates or junior researchers
Course duration 5 days
Language of instruction English
Number of credits 1. 5 ECTS
Prior knowledge Participants should have a knowledge of programming and working with data
Location Hotel de Bosrand, Ede.
Fees 1
PE&RC  / WIMEK / WASS / EPS / VLAG / WIAS PhD candidates with an approved and EngD candidates TSP € 300,- € 350,-
PhDs of Agriforward and postdocs/staff of PE&RC € 600,- € 650,-
All other academic participants € 680,- € 730,-
Non academic participants € 1200,- € 1250,-

1 The course fee includes accommodation and catering (breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee/tea) but excludes beverages
2 The Early-Bird Fee applies to anyone who REGISTERS ON OR BEFORE 7 JUNE 2024

  • If you need an invoice to complete your payment, please send an email to, including ALL relevant details that should be mentioned on the invoice (e.g., purchase order no., specific addresses, attendees, etc.).
  • The Early-Bird policy is such that the moment of REGISTRATION (and not payment) is leading for determining the fee that applies to you.
  • Please make sure that your payment is arranged within two weeks after your registration.
  • It is the participant's responsibility to make sure that he/she (or his/her secretary) completes the payment correctly and in time.
PE&RC Cancellation Conditions
  • Up to 4 (four) weeks prior to the start of the course, cancellation is free of charge.
  • Up to 2 (two) weeks prior to the start of the course, 50% of the course fee of  will be charged.
  • In case of cancellation within two weeks prior to the start of the course or no show, 100% of the participation fee will be charged.

Note: If you would like to cancel your registration, ALWAYS inform us and do not assume that by NOT paying the participation fee, your registration is automatically cancelled, because it isn't (and do note that you will be kept to the cancellation conditions).

More information

Claudius van de Vijver (PE&RC)


To register, please enter your details below and click "Register". Agriforward participants from England do not need to register as they will be directly registered though their organisation.  

Please specify all relevant details that should be mentioned on the invoice (e.g., purchase order no., specific addresses, attendees, email contact person)