Revolutionary 3D technology of the Photoneo Phoxi scanner assists the NPL (National Physical Laboratory) to automate field Phenotyping, a process of gaining wheat measurement data, used to create a better variety of wheat and improve the yield. Phenotyping data is used to guide cross breeding programmes for Seed Producers. Currently data is gained manually with sample crops of wheat being measured by hand with a ruler. This time consuming task takes many man hours with measurements being taken across hundreds of stems within a plot; recording the ear length, ear height, volume and spikelet numbers (number of grains per ear). These 4 main areas are recorded to give an indication to the quality of the wheat and how much a seed variety could yield.
The aim of the automated vision solution is to capture these 4 main plant traits out in the field with a mobile rig. The rectangle rig is fitted with 2 Phoxi Photoneo scanners capable of capturing a standard sample area of 2 x 5 metres, with a turn around speed of 30 seconds. The 3D point cloud information obtained from the structured light laser scanners is captured with millimeter precision. The multiple images are stitched together with post processing of the cloud formation taking place within MVTec’s Halcon Imaging Software with NPL’s in-house formed algorithms. The Photoneo Phoxi was also chosen due to its ability to deal with the harsh outdoor conditions, including varying light, from bright sunshine to a cloudy day.
The NPL will supply this service to the Seed Producers, Universities and Research units working on the 250,000 research plots within the UK.