Computer Science and Software Engineering

This is a demonstration of our research into drones using precision tools. The video shows a case study of these techniques to prune a tree branch autonomously. No GPS is used, stabilisation and navigation is performed using Visual Inertial Odometry , and neural network feature detection.


The Computer Science research team focuses on developing autonomous drone control using computer vision, artificial intelligence and deep learning techniques.

Both aerial and underwater drones are developed, each having their own particular challenges when using vision systems for control.

Communications are a vital link for autonomous systems, and the teams are also developing methods of underwater transmission for high-speed video.

The Computer Science and Software Engineering department has world-renowned academics working in human computer interaction, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, communication networking, and resilient software engineering. All these areas are applied to the technology of safe autonomous drones.

The department also has long-standing expertise in developing Computer Science teaching in high schools, and we believe drone technology can play a major role in encouraging students to take up careers in science and engineering.

Recent drone research projects 

  • drone image

    Commercial forest tree pruning


  • muscles in water

    Aquaculture monitoring


  • underwater drone

    Ship hull inspections


  • vine pruning machine

    Automatic vine pruning


The CSSE drone research team consist of

Dr Richard Green
Professor, Head of Department

Dr Andreas Willig Associate Professor, Communication networks

Kelvin Barnsdale Senior Research Engineer, UCDroneLab


Matthew Edwards Research Assistant and PhD candidate, UAVs

Sam Schofield, Research Assistant and PhD candidate, UAVs

Ori Ganoni, Research Assistant and PhD candidate, AUVs

Oliver Batchelor, Research Assistant and PhD candidate, Computer vision

Tim Rensen, Research Assistant, UAVs and AUVs

Timothy Irving, Masters student, Computer vision


Find out more about the research in Computer Science and Software Engineering