Dr Dadong Wang1, Dr Mark Thomas2, Dr Everard Edwards2, Dr Ryan Lagerstrom1, Dr Changming Sun1, Dr Stephen Gensemer2, Dr Maoying Qiao1, Dr Rizwan Khokher1
1CSIRO, Sydney, Australia, 2CSIRO, Adelaide, Australia
Accurate yield estimation at early stages of growth is critical to the competitiveness of Australian agriculture industry. For example, in viticulture, yield estimation is currently undertaken by the growers in a manual, destructive, and spatially sparse sampling regime. This method is inherently limited and typically results in ~33% error rates with the following factors as contributing to the variability: bunch number (~60%), berry number (~30%), and berry weight (~10%). Being able to robustly and accurately estimate the bunch number and berry number would be of major benefit to the Australian industry.
We are developing an AI based platform for yield estimation and fruit quality prediction. We have done some research on the yield estimation by using deep learning to detect inflorescences and fruit sets from video footages acquired at vineyards in SA and the results look very promising. We are also using machine learning for analysis of hyperspectral data for fruit quality prediction and classification. We would like to further develop these technologies into a generic platform for various fruits including grapes, avocados etc.
Once such a platform is developed for the grape industry it could be applied to other horticulture fruit crops, and the application to fruit quality is not only in the field to determine when to harvest but also throughout the supply chain from farms to consumers.
Dr Dadong Wang is a Principal Research Scientist & the research team leader of CSIRO Quantitative Imaging Research Team, part of the CSIRO Data61. The research team has extensive experience and a track record in developing intelligent end-to-end imaging and image analysis solutions and via collaboration with innovation partners bringing them to the market. One of the solutions has been licensed to a world leading cellular imaging company and about 1,500 licenses have been sold so far, giving research laboratories around the world access to the most advanced image analysis algorithms developed by the team.
Dadong is also an adjunct Professor at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and a Conjoint Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales (UNSW).