Methods for Cropline Following

Michael Happold
tech. report CMU-RI-TR-00-14, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, May, 2000


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Abstract
The Demeter Project of the National Robotics Enpineering Consortium of Carnegie Mellon University seeks to develop a robotic harvester capable of guiding itself through fields of crop. A variety of techniques for guidance have been experimented with, from GPS to stereo vision. This report details efforts at guidance hy means of processing 2-D images taken from color cameras positioned on each side of a harvester. These efforts are meant to provide a low-cost and computationally inexpensive solution to the positioning problem.

Finding the dividing line between cut and uncut crop in 2-D images, the cropline, is naturally formulated as an image segmentation problem. Although extensive work has been done in this area, most segmentation algorithms do not operate in real-time. Real-time in this context means cycling at 4-5 Hz, which is the approximate minimum cycling time to smoothly guide a harvester travelling at 4 m.p.h. Even with the rapid increases in the speed of computing hardware, sophisticated segmentation routines often take several seconds, if not minutes, to complcte. Therefore, a suitable trade-off between the reliability of results and the speed of the algorithm must be found.

This report covers four methods for finding croplines. These are: a modified version of the algorithm presented by Ollis and Stentz [13]: a model-based color segmenter: a texture-based segmenter; and a color edge-detector. The speed and accuracy of these four algorithms are compared on images of alfalfa and Sudan in flat and bedded fields.


Notes
Associated Center(s) / Consortia: National Robotics Engineering Center
Associated Project(s): Demeter and Row Crop Harvesting
Note: Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Robotics

Text Reference
Michael Happold, "Methods for Cropline Following," tech. report CMU-RI-TR-00-14, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, May, 2000

BibTeX Reference
@techreport{Happold_2000_4183,
   author = "Michael Happold",
   title = "Methods for Cropline Following",
   booktitle = "",
   institution = "Robotics Institute",
   month = "May",
   year = "2000",
   number= "CMU-RI-TR-00-14",
   address= "Pittsburgh, PA",
   Notes = "Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Robotics"
}