As part of a team with Georgia Tech scientists and engineers, fellow(s) are working on a robotic “field doctor” designed to monitor plant health and detect insect infestation. Current focus is on bell peppers and caterpillars infestation. Two subsystems are under active research and development:
The HealthScan subsystem is designed to detect “critical” zones in the plant canopies, on both sides of the robotic vehicle as it travels down a field row, whereas the general health status of the plant would be modified as a physiological response to pest infestations. These health changes can be measured spectrally as the variation of the “red edge” characterized by reflectance changes in the NIR range. A ruggedized multispectral imaging system is being developed using dual CMOS cameras equipped with appropriate optical filters.
After the PestRemoval subsystem loosens pests off the plant structure, it conveys them onto a conveyor equipped with a passive brush system so as to provide a “single” layer of insects into the viewport of the PestScan subsystem. The conveyor belt and the PestScan camera subsystem will be synchronized so as to enable the stitching of sequential images into a larger mosaic image with minimal overlaps.