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Novel Lighting System Designed for Machine Vision Module of Agricultural Robots

Machine vision demonstration, courtesy of Penn State University.

A novel camera system using active lighting devised by Penn State University researchers may be a crucial step in developing machine vision systems that allow robotic devices to more clearly "see" the agricultural targets with which they will react.

The system, using “over-current driven” LED lights to produce a powerful flash capable of firing multiple times a second, creates reliable daytime imaging, according to Penn State University Assistant Professor Team Leader Daeun Choi. The active LED lighting, machine vision concept designed by Penn State researchers is aimed at guiding ag robots that can work in the field 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“In the future, this system or one like it will likely be used to guide mechanisms that independently perform labor-intensive tasks such as pruning apple trees, estimating fruit yield, fruit thinning and mushroom picking,” Choi said. “More farmers are interested in adopting technologies in precision agriculture and automation to increase output and efficiency.” The State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania and USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture supported this study. For more information, read this Penn State News article.


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