Pest detection, removal

Any software developed to detect/ remove/ maintain pest? if so is the program specific to each type of pests/ worms?


Great question! Not yet. But all FarmBot are shipping with the onboard camera, so its only a matter of time before that type of software is developed!

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I would also suggest sum kinda motion detector + camera + defence nozzle addon to protect garden against crows/rabbits (pattern recognition?)

You’d also want to consider a micro-services call to assist with image-recognition, as there will be a mix of beneficial pollinator insects vs harmful to crop predators. Need to have a way of differentiating between the two, which requires optical tools + pattern/image recognition algorithms. We were playing with some of this in a recent hackathon I ran, but focussed more on food pattern recognition with IBMWatson.

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The pests often hide on the underside of stems and leaves. To make detection reliable, the camera would need to automatically reposition itself to capture images from the sides and/or below plant canopies.

You could mount an additional camera on the side of the gantry near the wheel base. It will slide together with the gantry and you’d be able to capture shots from the side. Mount a camera on each side for two side-views. You could point them up slightly so you can detect pests hiding under leafs.

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Bearing complexity & cost efficiency in mind, it may not even be necessary to mount another camera. Simply adding some additional illumination, specifically infrared lighting, could help here. Infrared light would be able to pass through most thin plants, and would be able to pinpoint any unwanted guests on the underside of any leaves. :slight_smile:

I haven’t yet investigated the specs for the current camera on FarmBot, but a majority of cameras use silicon sensors, which are able to see just fine into the near-infrared spectrum. So it is unlikely to be a concern from the camera’s perspective.

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Great to see such great feedback. Pest control is a huge time consuming aspect of organic farming. With this capability, the farmbot will be very valuable.

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There can be two aspects when dealing with pests: a) identify, and b) react. The nice thing about identification is that you don’t necessarily have to see the pest, but just the result of it on plant or surrounding soil. If you identify the presence of a pest early enough, then dealing with it can be simple and fast, even more so if you can identify type of pests and suggest solutions to the human. If you can automate the reaction, then all the better!

Invertebrates as a general rule die at about 120 Fahrenheit. So using a relatively low power laser to spot shoot offending insects shouldn’t be too tough, the hard part is machine vision. I personally would think a form of binocular hd vision maybe going through a neural net simulator on a GPU could do a great job of this while serving double duty as eyes for harvesting.

It is very important to be alert and conscious about the pest infestation signs. Pest may not only damage our property but also affect our health. A pest free home is healthy and hygienic for living. Pest control services like of rat exterminator elk grove let you keep on top of the problem by providing preventative maintenance for a reasonable cost. They usually have a spring and fall control cycle where they come and spray the outside foundation to create a barrier against pests entering your home.

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All great ideas folks! Smart polycropping also helps a lot with pest prevention, which is something that no other automated system can really do other than FarmBot. But even that isn’t totally bulletproof. Look closely at our launch video and you’ll see cabbage worms just demolishing the soft leafed lettuces! :bug: :fork_and_knife: :frowning:

For sure Poly cropping and encouraging beneficial bugs will helps. Even with this, organic farming is labor intensive.

The sentry gun project has object identification and motion sensing and active scanning capabilities that could be used with a water gun or soft pellet gun. I know the intended purpose of the sentry gun project may not appeal to some but it could be modified for pest control I have a problem with squirrels and rabbits here and will be placing a turret on opposite corners to keep them away. I will be using a low power soft pellet so not to hurt them but just enough to scare them off.
The power supply from the farm bot could power the turret but it does require a dedicated computer (might be possible to use a Raspberry Pi, I will be using one of my old laptops that I have laying around) for the camera and higher level software the rest is run off an Arduino Uno. The web site has the full parts list, instructions and software (all open source).

I think the most animals have a higher body temperature than plants, so perhaps for snails it could be interesting.
Ha I have to test that theory with a snail and a thermometer. :smiley:
That would be a really nice improvement to have a snail hunter included because that’s a really bad guy in our garden.

Hi, I had great success in my own garden keeping pests under control. Wikipedia has a great companion planting (poly-cropping) chart.

Also some of those weeds are actually great for poly cropping. And certain things should not be grown together. The farmbot bed is too small to have beans and onions in the same bed (even though they are separated by like 10 plants or so). Certain plants will attract pests to other plants.

Lastly one can grow the occasional trap crop. A trap crop is a plant that pests like best. The pests will eat that plant and leave your other plants alone.

To me it seems easier follow companion planting principals than to have a robotic pest removal system. Also one may get better results typing in companion planting into Google as opposed to poly cropping. The words companion planting are much older and there is far more literature for your search engine to pick up using companion planting as opposed to poly cropping.

I also really enjoyed the book “Carrots Love Tomatoes”. Louise Riotte goes into great detail about what one should and shouldn’t grow together.

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One last point. Louise Riotte says near the end of her book, something along the lines that some of the companion planting rules can change from region to region. Personally, I also think we may not exactly know all of the rules to companion planting. That is there are so many factors to natural pest control that it doesn’t just entail poly cropping. Case in point, I found that having some natural rocks in my garden creates a nice home for centipedes, which keeps slugs under control.

I believe that everyone ideas and goals of achieving pest and weed free farming with FarmBot can be greatly aided by the latest advances in deep learning.

If we start to use FarmBot to colect a dataset of plant growth and start to label what is a good growth, beneficial or bad weed, pest indicators, pest itself etc, FarmBot can take everyday farming to the same standards astronauts use in space.

FarmBot is really well positioned to achieve this given that all the measurements (camera, soil sensor) will always be made in a very stable and reproducible manner given that it is a CNC machine.

There is this company:

They already show how possible this is, with FarmBot we can make it open and available to everyone and even better, because with the Weeder it will be 100% herbicide free, which blueriver isn’t.

Anyone shares the idea or is already working on something similar?

From what I understand, Farmbot does have cameras and a vision system too. There is also which Farmbot is collaborating with for plant data. Personally, I am going to either focus on a drone carrier system or perhaps just a food forest with low tech (just a vision system to monitor crops). However, data from the vision system should be shared (or at least people should be given the option to share) across many different types of technology.

Hi there,

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