Zijue Chen

Zijue Chen

Zijue Chen

  • Student type: International
  • Degree type: PhD
  • Year commenced: 2018
  • Degree(s): PhD (Engineering)
  • Major(s): Mechanical engineering; Aerospace engineering

Why did you choose Monash?

At first, I chose Monash because the university in China that I did my bachelor degree at has cooperation with Monash so I got the chance to study here at as an undergraduate. Later I realized that Monash has a good environment for academic research and personal development. As an international student, I had equal opportunities with local students and lecturers here have positive attitude towards science and research. I thought it would be an exciting experience to do a PhD here - it has been proved true.

Tell us about your PhD research.

I am researching the vision system in agriculture apple picking robots. It uses a convolutional neural network to detect apples in trees and calculate the 3D location of the apples. The signal then will be transferred to a processor and finally control the robot arm to pick the apples. This is quite interesting because it is a big trade to use robots to replace laborious and repetitive human work. Detecting apples efficiently and accurately is a main barrier to realizing auto-picking. I am trying to accelerate the system and make it work better. This may benefit other agriculture robots in the future, as they need ‘eyes’ to work.

What had been the highlight of your PhD so far?

I guess it is how practical our project is. We have cooperation with orchards, so we can do tests as soon as we finish the lab testing stage. This is really helpful, as we can know the real need from orchards and optimize our robot based on that. For my vision aspect, I have to consider the different light and weather at farms. I cannot think of these factors if I just work inside a lab. Being practical is the highlight.

What do you hope to do after completing your PhD?

I like researching so I hope I could do similar work as I am doing right now. Facing a challenge and working with a group of people to solve one particular problem always make me excited.