Today’s crop breeders are trying to boost yields while preparing these plants to withstand severe weather and changing climates. To succeed, they must locate the genes for high-yielding, hardy traits in crop plants’ DNA. Yesterday, a robot developed by the University of Illinois to find these proverbial needles in the haystack was recognized by the best systems paper award at Robotics: Science and Systems, the preeminent robotics conference held this week in Pittsburgh.
“There’s a real need to accelerate breeding to meet global food demand,” said principal investigator Girish Chowdhary, an assistant professor of field robotics in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and the Coordinated Science Lab at Illinois. “In Africa, the population will more than double by 2050, but today the yields are only a quarter of their potential.”
Crop breeders run massive experiments comparing thousands of different cultivars, or varieties, of crops over hundreds of acres and measure key traits, like plant emergence or height, by hand. The task is expensive, time-consuming, inaccurate, and ultimately impossible—a team can only manually measure a fraction of plants in a field.
“The lack of automation for measuring plant traits is a bottleneck to progress,” said first author Erkan Kayacan, now a postdoctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “But it’s hard to make robotic systems that can count plants autonomously: the fields are vast, the data can be noisy (unlike benchmark datasets), and the robot has to stay within the tight rows in the challenging under-canopy environment.”
Illinois’ 13-inch wide, 24-pound TerraSentia robot is transportable, compact and autonomous. It captures each plant from top to bottom using a suite of sensors (cameras), algorithms, and deep learning. Using a transfer learning method, the researchers taught TerraSentia to count corn plants with just 300 images, as reported (DOI: 10.1002/rob.21794) at this conference.
“One challenge is that plants aren’t equally spaced, so just assuming that a single plant is in the camera frame is not good enough,” said co-author ZhongZhong Zhang, a graduate student in the College of Agricultural Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES). “We developed a method that uses the camera motion to adjust to varying inter-plant spacing, which has led to a fairly robust system for counting plants in different fields, with different and varying spacing, and at different speeds.”
The Latest on: Robotic crop counting
via Google News
The Latest on: Robotic crop counting
- Van Brimmer: Loeffler and her campaign set new low for political candidateson January 4, 2021 at 11:31 am
Loeffler now toils in the warped crop circle that is national politics ... And disappointing. Count me among those initially encouraged about Loeffler’s appointment to the Senate a little ...
- The 12 Best Games For The PlayStation 4on January 4, 2021 at 7:25 am
The PlayStation 5 is here, but that doesn’t mean you should count out the PlayStation 4 ... Read on to learn about the cream of the crop. But first, there’s something we need to discuss.
- Frankie Boyle’s big quiz of 2020: ‘How much have you subconsciously tried to suppress?’on December 26, 2020 at 10:45 am
The broad takeaway from the US election is that Americans count as slowly as one would expect ... which sounds like the robot who’ll present Match Of The Day once Gary Lineker’s been strapped ...
- Future Farms Go Well Beyond Conglomerateson December 21, 2020 at 1:10 am
The use of chemicals and commodity farming (often used as a means to maximize crop output) are rapidly falling out of ... For coil trimming, we believed that a vision-enabled robot would provide the ...
- How technology might finally start telling farmers things they didn’t already knowon December 18, 2020 at 4:07 am
As a machine operator for the robotics startup FarmWise ... and farmworkers would harvest this cauliflower crop when the time came, but it isn’t a stretch to think that one day, no person ...
- New Metal Forming and Press Tending Robots Market Research Traces the Indirect COVID-19 Market impact | Technavioon December 10, 2020 at 7:00 am
Related Reports on Industrials Include: Global Crop Harvesting Robots Market- The crop harvesting robot's market is segmented ... more than 17,000 reports and counting, covering 800 technologies ...
- New Metal Forming and Press Tending Robots Market Research Traces the Indirect COVID-19 Market impact | Technavioon December 9, 2020 at 9:17 pm
Tax Planning Personal Finance Save for College Save for Retirement Invest in Retirement Research Mutual Funds Stocks ETFs Bonds Best Investments ...
- Self-Driving Tractors? How Deere Is Disrupting Farmingon December 4, 2020 at 5:10 am
Why doesn't it have robotic arms in order ... oxygen level or chloroplast count in a way that walking through a field you would never see. If you have part of your crop that is getting sick ...
- Nano Drones Market to Reach USD 4.04 Billion By 2027 Growing at a CAGR of 26.8% | Emergen Researchon December 3, 2020 at 9:18 am
The military sub-segment exhibits a higher count of usage and investment in the ... Aerix Drone, and Acumen Robot Intelligence (ARI), among others. Smart Irrigation Controllers Market By Type ...
via Bing News