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 World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world
18.05.2017 | RMIT University

nachricht Internet of things made simple: One sensor package does work of many
11.05.2017 | Carnegie Mellon University

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object

23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Medical gamma-ray camera is now palm-sized

23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>