Dr Shen Hin Lim

Shen Hin Lim

Senior Lecturer in Mechatronics and Mechanical Engineering

Qualifications: BE, PhD UNSW Sydney

About Shen Hin

Hin is the project leader of the robotic asparagus harvester project. With the support of Callaghan Innovation and collaboration with RoboticsPlus Limited, a fully operational protoytpe that used advanced robotics to demonstrate asparagus harvesting in real farms at commercial speeds has been developed. In 2019, the successful demonstration was conducted in California, USA and this has been filmed to showcase New Zealand technology and innovation to both national and international audiences ( The project is currently developing the next iteration of the robotic asparagus harvester.

He is also part of the research team of 2018 MBIE Endeavour Research Programme titled: Data informed decision making and automation in orchards led by University of Auckland. In this project, three different horticulture areas are covered, which are apple fruitlet thinning, grapevine pruning and blueberry harvesting. Other projects that he is involved in include automated lilies bulb plantation system and cave auto-sampler.

He is the current secretary of New Zealand Robotics, Automation and Sensing (NZRAS), which acts as the robotics, automation and sensing academic community in New Zealand.

In School of Engineering, he is one of the founding members of Waikato Robotics, Automation and Sensing (WaiRAS) and current convener of Master of Engineering Practice (Mechanical) programme.

Papers Taught

Research Supervised

Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronics, Agriculture Engineering

PhD Researchers

  • Matthew Peebles, Investigation of Efficient Detection Methods for the Identification and 3D Localisation of Green Asparagus Spears for Robotic Harvesting (ongoing)
  • Rahul Jangali, Automation of Apple Fruitlet Thinning (ongoing)
  • Marvellous Mark, Investigation of Dynamics of Soft Robot Fingers in Object Grasp and Manipulation for Selective Blueberry Harvesting (ongoing - co-supervisor)
  • Tom Sunny, Processing of High Performance Plant Fibre Reinforced Composites (ongoing - co-supervisor)
  • Maria Oliveira, Natural Fiber-Reinforced Polyethylene Composites Produced by Rotational Moulding (ongoing - co-supervisor)
  • Mahonri Owen, Mana Motuhake Ringa: The Non-Invasive Neural Interface Based Artificial Hand (completed - co-supervisor)

Masters Researchers

  • Adam Lai (MEngPrac), Spring Onion Peeler (ongoing)
  • Junpeng Liu (MEngPrac), Lilies Bulb Sorter (ongoing)
  • Jatin Tohan (MEngPrac), DSF Sprayer (ongoing)
  • Gerhard Venter (ME), Lilies Bulb Vision Detection System (completed)
  • Rahul Jangali (ME), Cave Auto-sampler (completed)

Research Interests

Agriculture Engineering, Mechatronic Engineering, Composite structures

Hin research interests are focused on two areas: Robotics in Agriculture and Fibre Composites.

He is very motivated to integrate robotic solutions to agriculture, particularly in horticulture areas as a way forward to mitigate labour shortage issues and supporting increasing productivity and quality of multiple produce. Currently, his research work includes asparagus harvester, rock melon harvester, automated lilies bulb plantation system, apple fruitlet thinning, blueberry harvesting and grapevine pruning.

He is also interested in failure theory of fibre composites, particularly carbon fibre composites. He was involved with a CRC-ACS project that research into retrofit for aged helicopters during crashworthiness. He developed a smart system that combines carbon-fibre and magnetorheological-based damper to mitigate shock force.

Recent Publications

  • Sunny, T., Pickering, K. L., & Lim, S. H. (2020). Alkali treatment of hemp fibres for the production of aligned hemp fibre mats for composite reinforcement. Cellulose. doi:10.1007/s10570-019-02939-3 Open Access version:

  • Au, C. K., Barnett, J., Lim, S. H., & Duke, M. (2020). Workspace analysis of Cartesian robot system for kiwifruit harvesting. Industrial Robot. doi:10.1108/IR-12-2019-0255

  • Peebles, M., Barnett, J., Duke, M., & Lim, S. H. (2020). Robotic harvesting of asparagus using machine learning and time-of-flight imaging - overview ‎of development and field trials. In 2020 16th IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE). Hong Kong (Online Zoom Meeting).

  • Barnett, J., Duke, M., Au, C. K., & Lim, S. H. (2020). Work distribution of multiple Cartesian robot arms for kiwifruit harvesting. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 169. doi:10.1016/j.compag.2019.105202

Find more research publications by Shen Hin Lim

Contact Details

Email: [email protected]
Room: D.G.20
Phone: +64 7 858 5123