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Sensors 2013, 13(12), 16216-16233; doi:10.3390/s131216216
Article

Assessing the Potential of Low-Cost 3D Cameras for the Rapid Measurement of Plant Woody Structure

1,* , 1
, 2
 and 2
Received: 23 July 2013; in revised form: 12 November 2013 / Accepted: 20 November 2013 / Published: 27 November 2013
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract: Detailed 3D plant architectural data have numerous applications in plant science, but many existing approaches for 3D data collection are time-consuming and/or require costly equipment. Recently, there has been rapid growth in the availability of low-cost, 3D cameras and related open source software applications. 3D cameras may provide measurements of key components of plant architecture such as stem diameters and lengths, however, few tests of 3D cameras for the measurement of plant architecture have been conducted. Here, we measured Salix branch segments ranging from 2–13 mm in diameter with an Asus Xtion camera to quantify the limits and accuracy of branch diameter measurement with a 3D camera. By scanning at a variety of distances we also quantified the effect of scanning distance. In addition, we also test the sensitivity of the program KinFu for continuous 3D object scanning and modeling as well as other similar software to accurately record stem diameters and capture plant form (<3 m in height). Given its ability to accurately capture the diameter of branches >6 mm, Asus Xtion may provide a novel method for the collection of 3D data on the branching architecture of woody plants. Improvements in camera measurement accuracy and available software are likely to further improve the utility of 3D cameras for plant sciences in the future.
Keywords: 3D plant measurement; Microsoft Kinect; Asus Xtion Pro Live; stem diameter; branch diameter; 3D camera; canopy structure; point clouds 3D plant measurement; Microsoft Kinect; Asus Xtion Pro Live; stem diameter; branch diameter; 3D camera; canopy structure; point clouds
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Nock, C.; Taugourdeau, O.; Delagrange, S.; Messier, C. Assessing the Potential of Low-Cost 3D Cameras for the Rapid Measurement of Plant Woody Structure. Sensors 2013, 13, 16216-16233.

AMA Style

Nock C, Taugourdeau O, Delagrange S, Messier C. Assessing the Potential of Low-Cost 3D Cameras for the Rapid Measurement of Plant Woody Structure. Sensors. 2013; 13(12):16216-16233.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nock, Charles; Taugourdeau, Olivier; Delagrange, Sylvain; Messier, Christian. 2013. "Assessing the Potential of Low-Cost 3D Cameras for the Rapid Measurement of Plant Woody Structure." Sensors 13, no. 12: 16216-16233.


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