Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Vougioukas, an assistant professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, specializes in mechanization and automation of specialty crops. Vougioukas completed his Ph.D. in electrical, computer and systems engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and joined the UC Davis faculty in 2012 from Aristotle University in Greece.
Robotics for agriculture, orchard harvest automation, human-robot collaboration, intelligent labor-aids, plant-machine interactions, advanced sensing and actuation.
We are developing the next generation of comprehensive orchard mechanization systems using a model-based design approach that is faster and less costly than the traditional approach of prototype building and field-testing. We are integrating models of harvesting and pruning labor-aids with orchard layout, structures for training trees, tree fruit distributions, and other factors that determine overall productivity. Current research focuses on pear and cling peach production. We are also exploring the problems of coordination and safety between teams of workers and automated labor-aid machines, for example between human strawberry pickers and autonomous transport cars in the field.
- Tree and fruit digitization and geometric modeling
- Evaluation of the fruit- and branch-reaching capacities of fruit picking actuators
- Automated strawberry calyx removal
- Robotic harvest-aiding carts for strawberry transport