Watching Plants Grow Goes High-Tech with Computer Vision
by Adam Pease
More buyers are gaining awareness of computer vision as the market expands to include new enterprise use cases. Nokia Bell Labs and AeroFarms recently announced their plans to deploy a computer vision system to all of the crops and indoor farms managed by AeroFarms. The partnership signals the growing salience for computer vision in the enterprise—this blog discusses its implications for the market.
Nokia and AeroFarms
Nokia Bell Labs is a leader in AI research with experience in building sensors, drones, and various computer vision and machine learning systems. AeroFarms, which has been an innovator in indoor/vertical crop solutions, is investing in computer vision alongside a suite of other AI improvements, to attempt to transform the way that crop data is gathered and analyzed.
The new overhaul of AeroFarms crop management will occur through computer vision, sensors, and other supporting AI systems. According to the agricultural innovator, the Nokia system will support data capture for every individual plant, analyzing factors such as leaf size and segmentation, stem length, color, spotting/tearing, and curvature.
The system will be used to increase the velocity at which new crops can be introduced and support the crop growth process. It will make use of Nokia’s 5G network to transfer data on-premise and promises to be an end-to-end, scalable computer vision solution for farming. The application of computer vision in agriculture will provide new entryways into sustainable crop development and intelligent crop productivity optimization that will bring new awareness about computer vision to the farming sector.
Computer Vision in Agriculture
We have covered the emergence of new agricultural use cases before, and the space is definitely one of the areas where computer vision platforms have the most potential to disrupt existing best practices in the near future. Existing methods for tracking crop growth can be inaccurate and difficult to scale, computer vision provides a suite of answers to this problem.
Whether it is through a distributed network of edge sensors that gather data to validate top-down satellite image-based computer vision analysis, or through a cloud database that aggregates ground-level plant photography, there are many ways computer vision could transform the way that farmers and farms relate to their crops.
The intelligent analysis of crops is one more use case to add to the growing list of emerging applications that computer vision platforms provide to the enterprise. It’s too early to tell whether Nokia’s solution will dramatically transform the production of new crops, but this partnership will surely bring more attention to the power of computer vision.
—Image sourced from aerofarms.com