Proximal detection using robotics for vineyard monitoring: a concept

C. Poblete-Echeverría, A.E. Strever, Y. Barnard, M.A. Vivier
Globally, vinicultural industries are susceptible to the impacts of the climate change and associated stresses, including water scarcity. One approach to provide alternative solutions to the industry, towards sustainability and productivity despite the constraints, is to invest in technological solutions for better vineyard management. The use of technologies, such as robots and sensors, to monitor vineyards offers solutions to support vineyard management decisions. In this context, The Viticulture platform of the Institute for Grape and Wine Science (IGWS) of Stellenbosch University (SU) implemented a flagship project with the aim to promote sustainable viticulture practices by using advanced technology to improve the monitoring process in field conditions. A remote-controlled prototype robot was developed and is being tested in vineyards in combination with an array of sensors (laser LiDAR scanner, non-contact electromagnetic induction device (EM38), thermal cameras, and high definition cameras) of defined stresses to gather information through the seasonal progression and/in conditions. The data collected by the robot-sensor interface is used to implement models and procedures for yield prediction, soil characterization, canopy characterization and water management. This paper describes the main characteristics of the robotic project, technological tools and sensors used for monitoring, as well as, the main results of an experiment carried out to test the suitability of the laser LiDAR scanner data for estimating leaf area index (LAI) in a vineyard setting.
Poblete-Echeverría, C., Strever, A.E., Barnard, Y. and Vivier, M.A. (2020). Proximal detection using robotics for vineyard monitoring: a concept. Acta Hortic. 1279, 231-238
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1279.34
modelling, precision viticulture, image analysis, lidar sensor, prototype robot

Acta Horticulturae