In cultivation of fruit-bearing trees, thoroughly understanding growth of branches and leaves of individual trees and adequately managing the trees are important in improving their quality. However, daily observation and advanced knowledge are necessary for proper and cultivation of trees, so tree using cameras have been drawing attention. The automatic 3D modeling of plant shapes and structures, from images in particular, is an indispensable technology for pursuing both labor- cultivation and improvement of product quality.

Three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction from multiple images obtained from different viewpoints has been actively examined. However, it was difficult to reconstruct the structure of objects which have portions, such as plants with branch structures under their leaves.

By combining the original -to- translation approach in a Bayesian deep learning framework and 3D reconstruction, a group of researchers led by Fumio Okura estimated the existence probability of branches that are hidden under leaves in images obtained. Using these estimated branch positions, they achieved 3D reconstruction of plant structure, i.e., accurate reconstruction of branch structures, those hidden under leaves. Specifically, they converted images of leafy plants to images showing branch existence probability, thereby achieving 3D reconstruction.

The results of this study will be presented at the EEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR 2018) to be held from June 18 through June 22, 2018. The paper presented at the conference will be published in Computer Vision Foundation Open Access as part of the conference proceedings on June 4, 2018.

The results will become fundamental technology for cultivation and management of plants by artificial intelligence (AI) and image . They will be greatly helpful in realizing cultivation technology to allow for (a) detailed daily management of branch/leaf level process of growing plants in places where cultivators’ vision can’t reach by filming with a drone or robot, (b) coming up with best trimming or pruning methods for plants, and (c) forecasting growth of plants.

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Materials provided by Osaka University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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