Campus Units

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Human Computer Interaction, Plant Sciences Institute

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


2014 ASABE and CSBE/SCGAB Annual International Meeting

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date


First Page




Conference Date

July 13 – 16, 2014


Montreal, Quebec, Canada


Sorghum has great potential to become a major feedstock for bioenergy production. For the purpose of improving its biomass yield through genetic research, manual measurement of yield component traits such as plant height, stem diameter, leaf number, leaf angle, leaf length, leaf area and plant volume in the field is the current practice, which however is extremely laborious and time-consuming. High quality 3D reconstruction of sorghum plant architecture would make it possible for automatic measurement of yield component traits. This paper presents a high-throughput field-based phenotyping robotic system capable of automatic acquisition of stereo image pairs of sorghum samples. A utility garden tractor was retrofitted with a Topcon auto guidance system to self-navigate between crop rows. A stereo camera rig consisting of six stereo camera heads was mounted in front of the robotic tractor. Stereo image pairs for each genetic line were captured at mapped locations by using the onboard RTK-GPS signals. 3D point clouds of different scenes in the field were reconstructed using PatchMatch Stereo, which effectively estimated highly slanted plant surfaces.


This proceeding is published as Bao, Yin, Akash D. Nakami, and Lie Tang. "Development of a field robotic phenotyping system for sorghum biomass yield component traits characterization." ASABE and CSBE/SCGAB Annual International Meeting, Montreal, Quebec Canada, July 13 – 16, 2014. Paper No. 141901199. DOI: 10.13031/aim.20141901199. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers



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