PointNet and geometric reasoning for detection of grape vines from single frame RGB-D data in outdoor conditions

Keywords: RGBD, Deep-learning, Agricultural robotics, outdoor vision, grape


In this paper we present the usage of PointNet, a deep neural network that consumes raw un-ordered point clouds, for detection of grape vine clusters in outdoor conditions. We investigate the added value of feeding the detection network with both RGB and depth, contradictory to common practice in agricultural robotics of relying on RGB only. A total of 5057 pointclouds (1033 manually annotated and 4024 annotated using geometric reasoning) were collected in a field experiment conducted in outdoor conditions on 9 grape vines and 5 plants. The detection results show overall accuracy of 91% (average class accuracy of 74%, precision 53% recall 48%) for RGBXYZ data and a significant drop in recall for RGB or XYZ data only. These results suggest the usage of depth cameras for vision in agricultural robotics is crucial for crops where the color contrast between the crop and the background is complex. The results also suggest geometric reasoning can be used for increased training set size, a major bottleneck in the development of agricultural vision systems.


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