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Open AccessArticle

Development of a Low-Cost Semantic Monitoring System for Vineyards Using Autonomous Robots

1
School of Regional Innovation and Social Design Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Kitami Institute of Technology, Kitami, Hokkaido 090-8507, Japan
2
Division of Human Mechanical Systems and Design, Faculty of Engineering, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-8628, Japan
3
Department of Electronics and Telecommunication, Vidyalankar Institute of Technology, Mumbai 400037, India
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Agriculture 2020, 10(5), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10050182
Received: 24 April 2020 / Revised: 18 May 2020 / Accepted: 20 May 2020 / Published: 21 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Viticulture)
Many tasks involved in viticulture are labor intensive. Farmers frequently monitor the vineyard to check grape conditions, damage due to infections from pests and insects, grape growth, and to estimate optimal harvest time. Such monitoring is often done manually by the farmers. Manual monitoring of large vineyards is time and labor consuming process. To this end, robots have a big potential to increase productivity in farms by automating various tasks. We propose a low-cost semantic monitoring system for vineyards using autonomous robots. The system uses inexpensive cameras, processing boards, and sensors to remotely provide timely information to the farmers on their computer and smart phone. Unlike traditional systems, the proposed system logs data ‘semantically’, which enables pin-pointed monitoring of vineyards. In other words, the farmers can monitor only specific areas of the vineyard as desired. The proposed algorithm is robust for occlusions, and intelligently logs image data based on the movement of the robot. The proposed system was tested in actual vineyards with real robots. Due to its compactness and portability, the proposed system can be used as an extension in conjunction with already existing autonomous robot systems used in vineyards. The results show that pin-pointed remote monitoring of desired areas of the vineyard is a very useful and inexpensive tool for the farmers to save a lot of time and labor. View Full-Text
Keywords: viticulture; vineyard robots; vineyard monitoring; sustainable viticulture viticulture; vineyard robots; vineyard monitoring; sustainable viticulture
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Ravankar, A.; A. Ravankar, A.; Watanabe, M.; Hoshino, Y.; Rawankar, A. Development of a Low-Cost Semantic Monitoring System for Vineyards Using Autonomous Robots. Agriculture 2020, 10, 182.

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