Detecting the flowering stage of tea chrysanthemum is a key mechanism of the selective chrysanthemum harvesting robot. However, under complex, unstructured scenarios, such as illumination variation, occlusion, and overlapping, detecting tea chrysanthemum at a specific flowering stage is a real challenge. This paper proposes a highly fused, lightweight detection model named the Fusion-YOLO (F-YOLO) model. First, cutout and mosaic input components are equipped, with which the fusion module can better understand the features of the chrysanthemum through slicing. In the backbone component, the Cross-Stage Partial DenseNet (CSPDenseNet) network is used as the main network, and feature fusion modules are added to maximize the gradient flow difference. Next, in the neck component, the Cross-Stage Partial ResNeXt (CSPResNeXt) network is taken as the main network to truncate the redundant gradient flow. Finally, in the head component, the multi-scale fusion network is adopted to aggregate the parameters of two different detection layers from different backbone layers. The results show that the F-YOLO model is superior to state-of-the-art technologies in terms of object detection, that this method can be deployed on a single mobile GPU, and that it will be one of key technologies to build a selective chrysanthemum harvesting robot system in the future.
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