Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

‘Brain’ developed for low-cost PC-based grading of tomatoes and eggs

03.04.2009
Multi-awarded computer scientist Prof. Jaderick Pabico of the University of the Philippines Los Baños has developed a computational model that can operate a cheap computer-based system to grade agricultural produce such as tomatoes and eggs.

GRADES ARE IMPORTANT

In most countries, including the Philippines, many agricultural products are still graded using a standard criterion. In tomatoes, color is used to determine ripeness; in eggs, the shells are inspected for defects.

The color of tomato and the shell quality of eggs affect consumers’ purchasing habits, hence, dictate the price of the product. Accurate grading is therefore critical for enterprises.

The problem with visual inspection of tomatoes and eggs, however, is that of accuracy over time. “Because manual grading is labor-intensive, workers will naturally grow tired and bored— thus increasing the chances for errors, especially after they have worked for a few hours without break,” explained Prof. Pabico.

SOLUTION: AUTOMATE THE GRADING

Although several ways of automated grading of agricultural products have been developed abroad, the systems are costly and would only work in controlled farm environments. The Philippines needed something for its small farms.

Prof. Pabico’s model provides an affordable alternative. He came up with it by setting up machine vision systems (MVS) – two computers equipped each with a web camera. The first MVS will be used for grading tomatoes while the second, for eggs.

The camera serves as the “eye” of the MVS that senses and captures images of the tomatoes or eggs, while the computer runs the “brain” of the MVS, which determines the grade of the produce.

CREATING THE BRAIN

Prof. Pabico said that building the MVSs is the easy part. It is creating and optimizing the brains for each system that took time.

“We took the first MVS set to a commercial tomato farm in Tagaytay City and took 6,000 pictures of freshly harvested tomatoes using the web camera. The other unit we used to capture 750 images of harvested eggs from a backyard poultry raiser in Sariaya, Quezon,” Prof. Pabico recounted.

The images of the tomatoes and eggs were then prepared for ‘feeding’ into the respective brains—an artificial neural network (ANN). The process involved extracting the image of the product from its background using what is called an edge algorithm, extracting the red/green/blue spectral patterns of the product, and normalization of the patterns. The normalized patterns were used to ‘train’ the MVSs to grade the tomatoes and eggs.

After running tests, the computers determined whether the tomatoes where in the Green, Breakers, Turning, Pink, Light Red, and Red stages and whether the eggs are acceptable or rejects.

BRAIN WINS AGAINST BRAWN

After measuring performances of both human graders and the ANN in classifying eggs, Prof. Pabico found that the ANN posted a grading performance of 76%; humans posted 73%. ANN also did the job of classifying tomatoes better, recording an accuracy of 97% against the humans’ 93%.

In addition, the average accuracy of the human tomato and egg graders declined over an eight-hour work shift. Human accuracy was found to go up again after 15-minute snack breaks and after lunch, but the performance increase was not enough to bring the accuracy back to original levels.

The ANNs developed in this research may be used as a potent classifier for MVSs for tomato maturity classification and egg grading,” said Prof. Pabico.

ANOTHER BRIGHT IDEA

“Later on we hope to look into the rate of grading of both humans and the MVS by hooking up the MVS to a conveyor belt. We can then look for ways to speed up image acquisition and processing, as well as the analysis by the ANN and its data output on screen,” he added.

“With current advances in ANN research, it may be soon possible to grade agricultural produce using a group of ANNs that will analyze objects simultaneously. This would increase accuracy even more,” he concluded.

Florante A. Cruz | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://rdenews.uplb.edu.ph
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Five developments for improved data exploitation
19.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

nachricht Smart Manual Workstations Deliver More Flexible Production
04.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor

24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>