Automatic fruit recognition and counting from multiple images

Y. Song, C.A. Glasbey, G.W. Horgan, G. Polder, J.A. Dieleman, G.W.A.M. van der Heijden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

128 Citations (Scopus)


In our post-genomic world, where we are deluged with genetic information, the bottleneck to scientific progress is often phenotyping, i.e. measuring the observable characteristics of living organisms, such as counting the number of fruits on a plant. Image analysis is one route to automation. In this paper we present a method for recognising and counting fruits from images in cluttered greenhouses. The plants are 3-m high peppers with fruits of complex shapes and varying colours similar to the plant canopy. Our calibration and validation datasets each consist of over 28,000 colour images of over 1000 experimental plants. We describe a new two-step method to locate and count pepper fruits: the first step is to find fruits in a single image using a bag-of-words model, and the second is to aggregate estimates from multiple images using a novel statistical approach to cluster repeated, incomplete observations. We demonstrate that image analysis can potentially yield a good correlation with manual measurement (94.6%) and our proposed method achieves a correlation of 74.2% without any linear adjustment for a large dataset.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-215
JournalBiosystems Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • harvesting robot
  • orchard
  • vision
  • pepper
  • apples
  • number


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