Robotic Disease Detection in Greenhouses: Combined Detection of Powdery Mildew and Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus

Noa Schor, Avital Bechar, Timea Ignat, Aviv Dombrovsky, Yigal Elad, Sigal Berman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Robotic systems for disease detection in greenhouses are expected to improve disease control, increase yield, and reduce pesticide application. We present a robotic detection system for combined detection of two major threats of greenhouse bell peppers: Powdery mildew (PM) and Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV). The system is based on a manipulator, which facilitates reaching multiple detection poses. Several detection algorithms are developed based on principal component analysis (PCA) and the coefficient of variation (CV). Tests ascertain the system can successfully detect the plant and reach the detection pose required for PM (along the side of the plant), yet it has difficulties in reaching the TSWV detection pose (above the plant). Increasing manipulator work-volume is expected to solve this issue. For TSWV, PCA-based classification with leaf vein removal, achieved the highest classification accuracy (90%) while the accuracy of the CV methods was also high (85% and 87%). For PM, PCA-based pixel-level classification was high (95.2%) while leaf condition classification accuracy was low (64.3%) since it was determined based on the upper side of the leaf while disease symptoms start on its lower side. Exposure of the lower side of the leaf during detection is expected to improve PM condition detection.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number7383246
Pages (from-to)354-360
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Agricultural automation
  • computer vision for automation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Control and Optimization
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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