Dr Henry Alexander MacGeorge Williams

BE(first class) PhD Engineering VUW.


I completed my BE (1st class) and PhD at the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Victoria University of Wellington in 2016 in cognitive robotics. Specialising in the use of applying machine learning to robotics to enable intelligent autonomous behaviour in real-world domains. I am now currently applying my skills as an emerging researcher at the University of Auckland’s Center of Automation and Robotic Engineering Science (CARES) lead by Prof. Bruce MacDonald in New Zealand.

I work in a wide range of robotic domains on projects within CARES, but I have a particular interest in agricultural-based robotics. I was the technical lead and integration engineer on the kiwifruit harvesting and pollination project UOAX1414, which developed the most capable selective fruit harvesting robot in the world and a commercially viable robotic pollinator. I am now the technical lead on UOAX1810 (largest funded MBIE Endeavour project) seeking to assist humans with the tasks of grape-vine pruning, apple fruitlet thinning, and blueberry harvesting.

I am also the UoA principal investigator on the SFTI robotics spearhead project. This project seeks to develop novel machine learning and machine vision algorithms to enable robots to autonomously adapt and learn their behaviours from their interactions with the real-world. Through this project, I am also developing the UoA Reinforcement learning group, with a number of eager post-graduate and undergraduate students learning how to make robots learn.

Areas of expertise

  • Robotics
  • Mechatronics
  • Machine Learning
  • Evolutionary Computation
  • SLAM
  • Agricultural Robotics

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Williams, H., Nejati, M., Hussein, S., Penhall, N., Lim, J. Y., Jones, M. H., ... Schaare, P. (2020). Autonomous pollination of individual kiwifruit flowers: Toward a robotic kiwifruit pollinator. JOURNAL OF FIELD ROBOTICS, 37 (2), 246-262. 10.1002/rob.21861
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ho Seok Ahn, Bruce MacDonald
  • Williams, H., Ting, C., Nejati, M., Jones, M. H., Penhall, N., Lim, J., ... Scarfe, A. (2019). Improvements to and large-scale evaluation of a robotic kiwifruit harvester. JOURNAL OF FIELD ROBOTICS, 37 (2), 187-201. 10.1002/rob.21890
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ho Seok Ahn, Bruce MacDonald
  • Williams, H. A. M., Mark H. Jones, Mahla Nejati, Matthew J. Seabright, Jamie Bell, Nicky D. Penhall, ... Ho Seok Ahn (2019). Robotic kiwifruit harvesting using machine vision, convolutional neural networks, and robotic arms. Biosystems engineering, 181, 140-156. 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2019.03.007
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ho Seok Ahn, Bruce MacDonald
  • Williams, H., Browne, W. N., & Carnegie, D. A. (2017). Learned action SLAM: Sharing SLAM through learned path planning information between heterogeneous robotic platforms. Applied Soft Computing, 50, 313-326. 10.1016/j.asoc.2016.11.036
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/40301

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 6, Room 652A
New Zealand