NUI Galway engineering student wins Avaya Prize for weeding robot
30 May 2013
Offaly student Joseph Fleury has been awarded the Avaya Prize for the best final-year project in electrical and electronic engineering in the College of Engineering at NUI Galway.
A native of Birr, Co Offaly, Fleury’s project focused on the development of an autonomous robot system capable of navigating itself around an area using its own computer vision system. The developed robot system is part of a research study in the discipline of electrical and electronic engineering at NUI Galway on the feasibility of using intelligent robot systems to remove weeds in commercial crop and vegetable growing operations.
Dr Martin Glavin, lecturer in electrical and electronic engineering and supervisor of Joseph’s project, said: “Joseph’s project was incredibly sophisticated in that he not only had to build the robot, integrate electronic circuitry and write the software to control it but he also had to develop and test complex mathematical image analysis techniques which would allow the robot to ‘see’ and navigate.
“His project is an excellent example of how industry focused post-graduate research expertise within our discipline permeates our under-graduate degree programmes in order to produce engineers with experience in relevant and cutting edge technologies,” added Dr Glavin
Dr Michael Keane, senior manager with Avaya in Galway, said there was a need to encourage high quality students into degree programmes in the west, in order to fill the many open graduate positions in the areas of ICT and software development in companies like Avaya. The company employs 400 people in Galway, with 200 in technology R&D positions.