In this paper, a new robotic architecture for plant phenotyping is being introduced. The architecture consists of two robotic platforms: an autonomous ground vehicle (Vinobot) and a mobile observation tower (Vinoculer). The ground vehicle collects data from individual plants, while the observation tower oversees an entire field, identifying specific plants for further inspection by the Vinobot. The advantage of this architecture is threefold: first, it allows the system to inspect large areas of a field at any time, during the day and night, while identifying specific regions affected by biotic and/or abiotic stresses; second, it provides high-throughput plant phenotyping in the field by either comprehensive or selective acquisition of accurate and detailed data from groups or individual plants; and third, it eliminates the need for expensive and cumbersome aerial vehicles or similarly expensive and confined field platforms. As the preliminary results from our algorithms for data collection and 3D image processing, as well as the data analysis and comparison with phenotype data collected by hand demonstrate, the proposed architecture is cost effective, reliable, versatile, and extendable.
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