McCarthy, Cheryl and Hancock, Nigel and Raine, Steven R. (2008) On-the-go machine vision sensing of cotton plant geometric parameters: first results. In: Billingsley, John and Bradbeer, Robin, (eds.) Mechatronics and machine vision in practice. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany, pp. 299-306. ISBN 978-3-540-74026-1; eISBN: 978-3-540-74027-8
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Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.1007/978-3-540-74027-8
Plant geometrical parameters such as internode length (i.e. the distance between successive branches on the main stem) indicate water stress in cotton. This paper describes a machine vision system that has been designed to measure internode length for the purpose of determining real-time cotton plant irrigation requirement. The imaging system features an enclosure which continuously traverses the crop canopy and forces the flexible upper main stem of individual plants against a glass panel at the front of the enclosure, hence allowing images of the plant to be captured in a fixed object plane. Subsequent image processing of selected video sequences enabled detection of the main stem in 88% of frames. However, node detection was subject to a high false detection rate due to leaf edges present in the images. Manual identification of nodes in the acquired imagery enabled measurement of internode lengths with 3% standard error.
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