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posted by chromas on Thursday January 13 2022, @06:17PM   Printer-friendly
from the She-thinks-my-Raspberry-Pi's-sexy dept.

In farming regions that receive limited moisture, fallow phases are used to maximize crop yield potential with special attention given to weed removal. When fields are laying fallow, it is very important to remove the weeds that are trying to establish themselves. When the density of the weeds is low, it is not efficient to spray the whole field with herbicide, so proprietary sensor-based spray booms are used to identify and spray herbicide directly onto the weeds. Researchers from the University of Sydney have developed an open-source, low-cost and image-based device for weed detection in an effort to give this technology wider availability. The demonstration system uses a Raspberry Pi 4 with a Raspberry Pi HQ Camera and 6-mm focal length lens. The Python code and detailed instructions reside in the OWL github repository.

OWL represents a novel opportunity for community-driven development of weed recognition capability using existing ‘off-the-shelf’ hardware and simple yet effective image-based algorithms. The combination of the OWL device, supporting documentation and repository create a channel for practical education of key image-based weed detection and actuation concepts for growers and the wider weed control community. The topic is of particular importance now, given the emergence of image-based in-crop weed recognition technologies. OWL has been designed as a community-focused educational platform that will grow over time with initial baseline validation performed in the present research.

Guy Coleman, William Salter, and Michael Walsh. OpenWeedLocator (OWL): an open-source, low-cost device for fallow weed detection. [open] Sci Rep 12, 170 (2022). (DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-03858-9)

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Thursday January 13 2022, @08:08PM (2 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 13 2022, @08:08PM (#1212508) Homepage Journal

    That may or may not be true. Most fields are going to turn green when lying fallow. It's the weeds* they're talking about here. Those plants that are very undesirable, for one reason or another, as opposed to grasses and grain plants. I mean, nobody cares if some volunteer corn, or some soybeans, or any other crop plants sprout up. It bothers no one that a fallow field might make some good pasturage. Weeds, like Johnson grass, careless weed, and dozens of other nasty stuff that no one wants. Read the summary again, and note that they aren't trying to defoliate the land, they just want to spray a tiny bit of weed killer, right onto the weeds. Kill the weeds, and allow non-weed plants to grow in their place.

    *Yeah, I'm aware that everyone defines "weed" differently. If you found a half dozen corn plants coming up in your perfectly manicured lawn, you would think they were weeds. I'd let them grow - the wildlife will like them, if no one else does.

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  • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Friday January 14 2022, @01:11AM (1 child)

    by krishnoid (1156) on Friday January 14 2022, @01:11AM (#1212561)

    Similarly, everyone defines "varmint" differently. It's sometimes conflated with "wildlife".

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14 2022, @02:46AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14 2022, @02:46AM (#1212584)

      I hate when the locals include Democrats in the varmint category. I mean, you can't even eat them!