Canon Exploring The Vision of Indoor Agriculture
June 12, 2019
AUTHOR: Ivan Ball - Content Contributor to iGrow News
A small team based out of Richmond, Virginia brought a prototype vision system for the indoor vertical farm industry. One of the team members claimed that they were attending the conference just to learn more about the needs and wants of indoor farmers to further develop a fully autonomous plant vision system.
The prototype at the conference utilized a small RGB camera encased in a 3D printed housing that allowed the camera to travel along a rail system throughout a vertical shelf farm on display. This camera would travel over the tops of the plants and snap pictures at different locations to monitor their growth. Once the camera is finished capturing images of the plants, it would travel back to a wireless charging station to fill its battery as well as upload all the images and locations of the plants. One of the engineers explained that this technology would make it cheaper to implement fewer cameras for a larger farming facility.
Each farming shelf could use just one camera that would travel the shelf in an oval pattern. Canon has been developing high quality imaging equipment for over 80 years and could bring a disruptive technology for farms in the near future. This new system combined with artificial intelligence and machine learning could allow indoor farmers to receive quicker growing insights for making operational decisions.
Dennis Riling, Director of Business Development at Illumitex presented on the interaction between light and plants. He explained how Illumitex is using FarmVisionAI to attach cameras to their grow lights to detect pest outbreaks, leaf wilting, growth rate, nutrient deficiencies, and predict yield estimates.
This image feedback combined with the ability to manipulate light spectrums, dose fertilizers, and adjust pH could allow farmers to even change the taste, color, and texture of plants according to Blake Lange, Business Development Manager at Signify, formerly Philips lighting. Blake is doing research with dynamic spectrum LEDs on their GrowWise Control System to find light recipes to change the taste of plants.
Keep an eye out for Canon as they continue to investigate the industry of controlled environment agriculture (CEA). The team is highly aware of the growing indoor agriculture industry and plans to find new innovative ways to join the space as they learn more from the farmers.