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 Deep Learning predicts hematopoietic stem cell development
21.02.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Sensors embedded in sports equipment could provide real-time analytics to your smartphone
16.02.2017 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>