Automatic plant count

Field Vision System – for plant breeders

Measuring  emerging plants using machine vision.

  • Automatic calculation of the total leaf areas of the plants in individual plots.
  • Easy upload of sow plan to the scanner.
  • User interface which enables driver to easily keep track of the plots scanned.
  • Data logistics system capable of handling very large numbers of plots.
  • Complete data tracebility suitable for successive scans of same trials.
  • Simple export of data to standard CVS-format file.
  • Full support and access to new software releases.

This Scanner System Presents a fast and accurate way of detecting and measuring emerging plants.
The system can detect barely visible plants shortly after emerging.
The recorded data are stored on a hard disk located in the cabin of the tractor.Recorded data are later transferred to a server for image processing.

Flexible design, – from 1 to 8 rows.

Version 1.0 of the data processing software offers the following features:

How it works:

The sowplan of the entire test field constituting all the plots must first be uploaded to the scanner. In this way the scanner “knows” all the plot names and their location in the test field.

When the driver enters a new track (a set of plots) he is being prompted by the scanner. This ensures that always the right plots are being recorded. The system also includes a set of markers to be placed in the test field. These markers are scanned by the camera and define the exact position of the plots. The markers are later identified by the software and allow a subsequent scanning of the same field at a later time to be correlated with the first scanning.

It is only necessary to place markers in one of the scanned tracks. If a machine is equipped with 8 cameras, markers need only to be placed at every 8th. row.

The normal driving speed is 3.5 – 4 km pr hour. At this speed the system resolution is 1.8 x 1.8mm.

When the field has been scanned, the hard disk from the scanner is connected to the server.

The server provides a simple user-interface for uploading the raw data from the hard disk of the scanner. The interface also provides information on the progress of the analysing of the data set.

While data are been processed, the finished files can be downloaded to a USB-key or accessed via LAN for transferring to a spreadsheet on your desktop computer.

Because of the large capacity of this scanner, it is possible to scan a test field with 10.000 parcels every second day. Therefore one can track the development of thousands of parcels with emerging plants very accurately.

The scanner  is build on a frame carrying 2 – 8 cameras.  The frame has 2 supporting wheels.

On machines with more than 4 cameras, the frame can be folded by a hydraulic cylinder for driving on the road. The scanner can be mounted on the front or the rear of the tractor. The system will benefit from the tractor being equipped with a GPS steering system. Systems with 2 – 4 cameras can be supplied from the power outlet of the tractor. Systems with 4 – 8 cameras are equipped with a generator driven by the PTO.

The control box with a display is to be mounted in the cabin of the tractor. The display shows the current track and prompts the driver before each scanned track.  The control box is also equipped with 4 buttons to enable the user to navigate the menus of the user interface.

The markers must be placed in the field before the first scan. Each marker consists of a 200 mm galvanized spike with a head made of white weather resistant foam-PVC.

The measuring wheel is relaying the position of the machine along the row to the recording cameras. The wheel is a part of the scanner.

The data server is a powerful computer located at a suitable place, preferably in a server room at the company. This computer is powered by Linux and is running the plant measuring software. The version 1.0 of this software can calculate the total leaf area measured in mm2 detected in each plot. Version 2.0 can compensate for much weed by comparing subsequent scans. Version 3.0 can calculate the numbers of plants with not overlapping leaves.

The 1-row model is battery powered and fitted on a small wagon intended for manual use in a greenhouse.