Empowering a US-based smart agro-solution provider with Computer Vision to automate key farming processes

e-con Systems helped one of the largest smart farming solution providers in the US region maximize crop yield and optimize resources like water by automating critical and complex farming activities. We also enabled image processing for the delivery of real-time analytics of field and crop statuses that led to early detection of growth inhibitors like insects and weeds. Hence, the crop yield could be more sustainable - bringing in a higher bottom-line revenue.
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About the client

The client is one of the world's leading US-based providers of AI-powered, self-learning farming solutions to the agricultural sector. They help customers manage their farming ecosystems by equipping them with powerful data insights to identify patterns, predict trends, and enable business growth. Their global footprint extends across the Americas region.

Key Challenges and customer's expectations

The client wanted to integrate a vision-powered rover to solve two key problems at different stages of crop life. One was during the early crop stage - to inspect the crop regularly for the presence of larvae, insects, and weeds. The other was during the harvest stage – to evaluate the stage of the crop and pick them on a timely basis and sort them based on quality.

Two major challenges were that the camera solution had to be mounted on a mobile rover while capturing high-quality images in color. Otherwise, their algorithms wouldn't be able to make the right decisions. Some of the client's other unique requirements were:

  • Multispectral imaging with HDR capability
  • Full support for NVIDIA Jetson Xavier AGX

Selection of the camera module

e-con Systems™ offered a solution with two cameras for the rover. The first was the 2MP e-CAM20_CU0230_MOD color camera module for capturing high-quality color images in relatively low light conditions. These images could then be processed by algorithms that use parameters to match the exact color and texture of crops.

The second was See3CAM_20CUG - a monochrome camera module that comes with a global shutter sensor for capturing images at a high frame rate without any motion blur. It meant that the images from this sensor could be used by the algorithm to detect various problems in the early crop stage by rapidly scanning the field.

How e-con Systems™ delivered a hassle-free solution

The team at e-con Systems worked with the customer from day one to identify the two camera modules, along with the required proof of concept for the algorithms. We positioned the camera in the rover and interfaced it with the NVIDIA Jetson processing unit. For practical implementation purposes, the color camera module was interfaced over the MIPI interface using an IPEX cable. See3CAM_20CUG was connected via the USB interface as the monochrome camera. During the field trials, we moved the camera around the rover in different positions until a best-fit position was finalized. The USB Interface and the cabling gave us all the flexibility we needed in the implementation phase.
The prototype design was completed and integrated with the rover - ensuring.

  • High color reproduction to increase the accuracy of real-time data
  • No motion blur despite constant movement of the mobile rover
  • End-to-end processing support for Computer Vision

Business benefits

  • Off-the-shelf camera module and a custom-built solution
  • Rapid-fire integration of camera modules into the hardware unit – resulting in faster volume production than ever anticipated
  • Complete automation of repetitive, labor-intensive skilled work
  • Maximizing the profitability of crop yields by providing deep-dive insights on growth deterrents (insects, weeds, etc.) that often lead to poor yield

Talk to us

Would you like to know more about how you can use AI-powered computer vision solution to automate critical areas of your farming activities?

Connect with our product manager who worked on this vision-based solution, and get started!
Gomathi Sankar
gomathisankar@e-consystems.com
Phone: +1-408-766-7503

About e-con Systems™

e-con Systems™ is a leading OEM camera manufacturer with 17+ years of experience and expertise in embedded vision. It focuses on delivering vision and camera solutions to industries such as retail, medical and industrial. The company's wide portfolio of products includes MIPI camera modules, GMSL cameras, USB 3.1 Gen 1 cameras, stereo cameras etc.

e-con Systems™ strives to become a global leader in the embedded vision space through continuous innovation, and helping its customers accelerate product development and reduce time to market. It has built over 250+ product solutions and shipped over millions of cameras around the globe. What sets the company apart is its deep expertise in building customized product designs while ensuring rapid prototyping and custom modifications in hardware as well as software.

Disclaimer and copyright statement

This content is owned by e-con Systems™ and not meant for public distribution. Any reuse of this content can be done only with the prior written permission from e-con Systems™. e-con Systems also holds the right to modify any information stated in the document.