Fresh from the Field, Sept. 27, 2018

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Fresh from the Field is a weekly album showcasing transformative impacts made by partners supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Editor: Falita Liles                                                                                                    Sept.27, 2018

Success Stories 

Fresh from the Field  NIFA Impacts USDA Photo by Lance Cheung

Artificial Intelligence with Strawberries May Improve Food Quality and Safety While Minimizing Field Labor

Industry Vision Automation Corporation received Phase I and Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grants to design a system to remove the calyx (green leafy stem area) from strawberries processing and packaging.  Currently this process is done manually with a knife.

They developed a neural network structure and algorithm designed to perform the defect detection and sorting, strawberry orientation detection, and precision cutting using a high pressure water cutting system. The company developed an initial prototype unit with user interface that consists of subsystems of hardware control electronics, calyxes cutting line detection algorithm, high-pressure water cutting system, residual rejection system and controls.

NIFA supports this research through the Small Business Research Initiative. USDA photo by Lance Cheung.

News Coverage

Fresh from the Field  NIFA Impact USDA Photo

Robots to Replace Conventional Yield Checks

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have created a camera-equipped vehicle that can detect fruit via automated image analysis. Image data gives producers the ability to predict yield well ahead of harvest, which saves them money and time by allowing growers to properly prepare for labor, shipping, storage, marketing, and sales. Further, it also replaces time consuming and repetitive late season conventional yield checks.

NIFA supports this research through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative.

USDA Photo.


NASS Washington State Fresh from the Field NIFA Impacts

Let the Robot Carry (and Manage) the Bins 

Preliminary conceptual development field trials by Washington State University indicate that the productivity of fruit picking could be improved by 50 percent if the collection bins within harvesting sites could be better managed. This $1 million AFRI-funded project aims to develop an intelligent bin-managing system supported by a robotic self-propelled fruit bin carrier. 

NIFA supports this research through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative. USDA photo. 

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