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Precision Agriculture: Working in the field (and above it) with computer vision

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Abstract

A brief discussion on the use of drones and robotics in precision agriculture.
Precision Agriculture:
Working in the field (and above it) with computer vision
Dr. Ian Hales, Bristol Robotics Laboratory
Overview
Who am I?
What is Precision Agriculture?
UAVs in Agri-tech
My work
Weed Detection
Plant Analysis
Who am I?
An introduction to me, the Centre for Machine Vision and the BRL
Who am I and What am I Doing
Here?
BSc in CompSci and PhD in multi-
planar 3D analysis from Uni. Of Leeds
Now a research associate in the BRL,
focusing on 3D analysis
Previously worked on Agri-tech
research in collaboration with Harper
Adams University
Currently working with Syngenta,
UoM, UoE on 3D plant imaging
Bristol Robotics Lab
Leading academic centre for multi-disciplinary robotics research in
UK
Wide ranging research in many different applications
Agri-tech, Assisted Living, Aerial Robotics, Medical Robotics
Part of the Venturer Consortium
for robotic vehicles
Self-Driving trials to be held in Bristol
Centre for Machine Vision
BRL, UWE and UoB
1 of only 3 UK centres of
excellence in photometric
stereo
Focus on 3D algorithm and
hardware development
Active research in Agri-tech,
facial recognition systems
and more.
“Precision Agriculture”?
Applying nutrients, herbicides, etc. in an intelligent way…
The Problem of Population
Current Methods
What to do?
Apply resources only where they are needed
Small machines – denser crops
My focus: weed control
Detect the weeds
Measure structure
Apply directly to meristem
(Herbicides, electricity, heat…)
What to do?
Apply resources only where they are needed
Small machines – denser crops
My focus: weed control
Detect the weeds
Measure structure
Apply directly to meristem
(Herbicides, electricity, heat…)
Computer
Vision!
Computer Vision for UAVs
(Some) existing work on aerial mapping, weed detection &
targeting, spectral analysis
UAVs and Mapping: Colour Imaging
Júnior, O. T., Neris, L. O., Chavier, L. F., Minghim, R., & Branco, K. R. C. A (2012) Toolbox for Aerial Image
Acquisition and its Application to Precision Agriculture.
UAVs and Mapping: Spectral
Imaging
López-Granados, F., Torres-Sánchez, J., Serrano-Pérez, A., de Castro, A.I., Mesas-Carrascosa, F.-. and Peña, J. (2015) Early
season weed mapping in sunflower using UAV technology: variability of herbicide treatment maps against weed thresholds.
Precision Agriculture
UAVs and Mapping: Spectral
Imaging
Elarab, M., Ticlavilca, A.M., Torres-Rua, A.F., Maslova, I. and McKee, M. (2015) Estimating chlorophyll with thermal and broadband
multispectral high resolution imagery from an unmanned aerial system using relevance vector machines for precision agriculture.
International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation
UAVs and Mapping: 3D Imaging
Raghav Khanna, Martin Moller, Johannes Pfeifer, Frank Liebisch, Achim Walter and Roland Siegwart. (2015) 2015 IEEE 20th
Conference on Emerging Technologies & Factory Automation (ETFA); Beyond point clouds - 3D mapping and field parameter
measurements using UAVs.
My Work in Agri-Tech
Ground-level weed detection, plant image analysis, etc.
This will make
sense
shortly…
Ground-Level Weed Mapping
Eliminate Large-scale spraying of herbicides
Autonomous robots roaming fields, shooting
weeds
Localise meristem to within 1-2mm
Must run at high FPS
Examine possibility of 3D imaging
Background Image taken from Harper-Adams website: http://www.harper-adams.ac.uk/initiatives/national-centre-precision-farming/precision-farming.cfm
A Maize Field
Detect Vegetation (Green things)
Don’t Shoot the Crops!
Don’t Shoot the Crops!
The Weeds
The Weeds
Grass or Broad-Leaf?
Meristem Detection on Grass Patch
Meristem Detection on Rounded Leaf
Patch
Mapping the Field
Given images like these…
Need to “mosaic” them together into a map
Mapping the Field
3D Plant Analysis
How can 3D help us in the search for weeds?
A Plant as a Surface
Using 3D Data
And 2.5D Data…
Histogram of shapes
Manually train on hand-labelled meristems
Search for high correlation on unseen images
Thank You!
Any Questions?
?
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