TrimBot2020 - A gardening robot for rose, hedge and topiary trimming








Cutting Hedge Research


TrimBot2020 is an EU funded project that will research the underlying robotics and vision technologies and prototype the first outdoor garden trimming robot. The robot will navigate over varying terrain, approach rose bushes, hedges and boxwood topiary, to trim them to an ideal shape. The robot will be based on a modified commercial robot lawn mower, which will navigate using a user-defined garden map and 3D scene analysis, and then visually servo a novel electric plant cutter.


Achieving this will require a combination of robotics and 3D computer vision research and innovation activities. Original developments will be required for 3D sensing of semi-regular surfaces with physical texture (overgrown plant surfaces), coping with outdoor lighting variations, self-localising and navigating over real terrain and around obstacles, visual servoing to align the vehicle with potentially moving target plants, visual servoing to align leaf and branch cutters to a compliant surface, and innovative engineering to deliver all this on a small battery-powered consumer-grade vehicle.





·          Autonomous garden robotic bush trimming

·          Development of a low-cost physical robot able to trim bushes

·          Development of a computer controlled trimmer suitable for mounting as a robot end-effector

·          Development of algorithms to fuse multiple shape-from-X capabilities to create a reliable 3D scene shape description

·          Development of algorithms to acquire an accurate outdoor 3D scene map and description

·          Development of algorithms for navigation in a restricted and cluttered outdoor environment with changeable illumination conditions

·          Development of algorithms for relating visual SLAM-based 3D scene maps to user-supplied sketch maps of the garden and ideal topiary shape

·          Development of algorithms for overgrown bush analysis

·          Development of the complete integrated robot

·          Training of junior research staff in robotics and 3D vision skills




Robert Fisher

School of Informatics

Univ. of Edinburgh

1.26 Informatics Forum

10 Crichton Street

Edinburgh EH8 9AB

United Kingdom

Phone: (44)-131-651-3441 (direct line)

Phone: (44)-131-650-2685 (secretary)

Fax: (44)-131-651-3435

Email: rbf email address



TrimBot2020 is funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 programme under grant agreement 688007, addressing Objective ICT-24-2015: ICT 2015 - Information and Communications Technologies: Robotics. The project runs from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2019.





There have been ******accesses since March 2016.