Camera to monitor water stress?

Hi. I’m a professor at Oregon State University working on computer modelling of how plants grow, and how to monitor water stress in trees and crops.

Have you considered incorporating thermal cameras into farmbot to monitor the water status of individual plants? It might allow for a more frugal use of water in the system.


That’s a fantastic idea. Right now we’re just working with a standard visible spectrum camera for weed detection. It could probably be used to look at leaf color/health as well, if we had models for what a healthy vs an unhealthy crop looked like. This type of data will come over time.

If you’re interested in using a different type of camera, you should be able to do so pretty easily as long as the camera can be remotely operated over USB or something. If that was the case, then you could use the FarmBot web app to move FarmBot over a plant, take an image, and then move to the next plant, on whatever schedule you wanted. Then you could process the images with an external script and use the results in some way to farm/water more effectively.

Excellent. I’m in the process of moving to a new university, but once settled I’m going to look into using a farmbot as a teaching tool and see whether I can integrate a thermal camera into the system. You wouldn’t happen to have academic discounts, would you :slight_smile:

We do! For qualified institutions we can offer an additional 20% off. We can provide the coupon code in an email after review of the institution. Thanks!

  1. Public Labs offers a do it yourself kit for modifying an inexpensive camera or webcam to acquire infrablue imagery. (similar to NDVI) You can post process this infrablue imagery to assess photosynthesis activity. Public Labs offers open source software for post processing the images. Public labs is based in Cambridge, Ma, but there are active members in the bay area of California.

  2. Public Labs also offers a desktop spectrometry kit.

  3. TerrAvion provides an aerial service that captures inexpensive NDVI and other imagery in certain agricultural regions in California, Oregon, and Washington. They capture imagery in these same areas every week as a subscription service.

These are great links, thanks for sharing!

Having a GIS background, my first thought was multi-spectral. A small multi-spectral camera that could mount on a unit would be interesting. If only I could swing the cash to preorder, I could have all sorts of fun with this thing.


I was looking at Infragram and would love to help get it working in the Farmbot app, but it’s beyond my current coding skills.

My thought is, since it’s already built and running and they’ve open sourced the code, it’d be a simple thing to add - instead of coding from scratch.

Also, if Farmbot is up for it, perhaps someone could reach out to Infragram and explain farmbot and suggest that if they help get it working with the app, their camera that they sell can be sold as an add-on to farmbot. Farmbot could make it an add-on and reach out to current supporters. It might be an incentive to get their help in adding the code since there’s a lot of potential sales.

That said, I’ve never dealt with spectral metres, perhaps there is a simple option like what Couloir007 suggested.

We’re working on a way for third party scripts and programs to be invoked from the main controller (via the sequences designed in the web app) so an integration with Infragram would fit right in with that feature. While its a little out of our scope right now, I imagine we’ll have some extra resources to pursue a partnership or collaboration in about 6 months!

Has your webcam been implemented?I didn’t know how to solve it.