The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) is the largest University in Greece and is located in the city of Thessaloniki in Northern Greece. The Research Committee of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH/RC) is a law body of the University, exclusively responsible for the contractual research within Aristotle University. In the last 3 years the RC has collaborated with 1,700 partners (Universities, Research Centres and Companies) for the implementation of 3,500 RTD projects. The overall budget of these projects reached 150 M€. The annual turnover of the Research Committee of AUTH is round 50 M€. The work of this project will be carried out by Automation and Robotics Laboratory of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), the Laboratory of Spectroscopy, Remote Sensing and GIS of the Faculty of Agriculture, and the Agricultural Engineering Laboratory.
The Automation and Robotics Laboratory (ARL) within ECE has a long standing research record in the areas of robotics and control systems. In the field of robotics the lab has an expertise in the area of physical human–robot interaction, object grasping and manipulation, redundant and flexible joint manipulators, and model free control of robotic systems with prescribed performance guarantees. In the automatic control field ARL is specializing in the control of complex and uncertain systems with prescribed performance guarantees. ARL is also active in the field of computational intelligence. The ARL research group has participated in over 20 research projects funded or co-funded by EU and two EU networks of excellence, namely, EVONET (Network of excellence in Evolutionary Computing) and EURON (European Robotics Network). One of the most recent completed project was PIROS (Physically Interactive Robot Services), co-financed by the EU-ESF and Greece via the Education and Lifelong Learning program of the NSRF – Research Funding Program ARISTEIA I. Key personnel from ARL has been involved in the past projects RAMCIP, SARAFUN and is currently participating in SMARTsurg H2020 projects as CERTH/ITI associates, with tasks involving research on physical human-robot interaction, safety in unintentional human-robot contact and assembling of small parts via deformation and insertion. Researchers of ARL were in the past and are currently receiving scholarships by the National State Foundation for PhD and PostDoc studies within the Young Researchers Grant (207-2019) funded by the Ministry of Education. The lab has also been granted a “Support of Public Research and Innovation Infrastructure Grant” (2018), funded by Region of Central Macedonia for acquiring state of the art robotic equipment. ARL-AUTH is the project coordinator of the ongoing H2020 project CoLLaboratE that involves physical human-robot cooperation in assembly operations. Professor Zoe Doulgeri, currently a Professor in Robotics and Control of Manufacturing Systems in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki is the director of the Automation and Robotics Lab within the same department. She has led or participated in more than 12 projects funded by the EU or jointly the EU and Greek government including projects targeted at the robotic handling of flexible materials and she is currently the coordinator of the H2020 project CoLLaboRatE. She has served as an EU proposal evaluator and as a national proposal evaluator for Greece and Portugal in many occasions. She has published more than 120 papers in international peer-reviewed conferences and journals with more than 1500 citations.
The Laboratory of Spectroscopy, Remote Sensing and GIS (SRSGIS) was founded at 1991, in order to cover the fields of remote sensing, GPS and GIS in the sector of agronomy and environmental impacts by human activities. The Laboratory works on three basic directions (1) education, (2) research and (3) the implementation of research and operational projects, financially supported either from the European Community, the Government or the Private Sector. It has coordinated or participated in more than 50 national, regional and international projects. Its personnel share a multi-scientific background, enabling an integrated approach and have expertise on large scale project administration and in the implementation of national, regional and European research projects. Additionally, the lab is systematically occupied, besides in the agricultural domain, in integrated environmental planning and management, site specific management of soil and water resources, environmental impact assessment and monitoring. Furthermore, it focuses on water and land-use remote sensing monitoring; management, restoration and rehabilitation of natural resources, remote sensing and GIS, as well as inventory, delineation, and mapping of environmentally sensitive ecosystems, especially in NATURA areas. It utilizes Earth Observation techniques for monitoring pressures and environmental impacts and focuses on rural development and food security. Through sustainable production technology, SRSGIS has also been enhancing the shelf life, quality nutritional value and food security of fruits. Through its head of the laboratory, Professor George Zalidis, the laboratory maintains strong affiliations with the inter-Balkan Environment Centre (where Prof. Zalidis is the scientific coordinator), a participating member in the Group on Earth Observations and a member of the High Level Working Group (GEO-HLWG), while it represents Greece in the Global Agricultural Monitoring initiative of GEO (GEOGLAM). GEOGLAM focuses on strengthening the global agricultural monitoring by improving the use of remote sensing tools for crop production projections. By providing coordinated Earth observations from satellites and integrating them with ground-based and other in-situ measurements, the initiative contributes to generating reliable, accurate, timely and sustained crop monitoring information and yield forecasts. The publication record of the Laboratory includes more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals, and more than 85 conference papers in international conferences. The works of the laboratory have been cited more than 1700 times.