It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

While these baubles may look like Christmas ornaments that we’ve hung on an apple tree, they are not for decking the halls. These highly technical instruments (well ok, painted polystyrene spheres) are a crucial part of an Outfield project to measure fruit size.

The goal is to measure the size of fruit while they are on the tree, using 2D photographs captured from a drone. The calibration spheres we are using here have various jaunty colours to make them stand out against the tree and to register well in the computer vision system. Each sphere has a known diameter, and by teaching the computer to measure the spheres, we can train it to measure fruit as well.

Sadly, the computers do not take well to calibration spheres painted with festive Christmas patterns… proof technology is the modern-day Scrooge. Happy Holidays!

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