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[en] In agriculture (in the context of this paper, the terms “agriculture” and “farming” refer to only the farming of crops and exclude the farming of animals), smart farming and automated agricultural technology have emerged as promising methodologies for increasing the crop productivity without sacrificing produce quality. The emergence of various robotics technologies has facilitated the application of these techniques in agricultural processes. However, incorporating this technology in farms has proven to be challenging because of the large variations in shape, size, rate and type of growth, type of produce, and environmental requirements for different types of crops. Agricultural processes are chains of systematic, repetitive, and time-dependent tasks. However, some agricultural processes differ based on the type of farming, namely permanent crop farming and arable farming. Permanent crop farming includes permanent crops or woody plants such as orchards and vineyards whereas arable farming includes temporary crops such as wheat and rice. Major operations in open arable farming include tilling, soil analysis, seeding, transplanting, crop scouting, pest control, weed removal and harvesting and robots can assist in performing all of these tasks. Each specific operation requires axillary devices and sensors with specific functions. This article reviews the latest advances in the application of mobile robots in these agricultural operations for open arable farming and provide an overview of the systems and techniques that are used. This article also discusses various challenges for future improvements in using reliable mobile robots for arable farming.
[en] Aim of study: The application of pre-trained deep learning models, AlexNet and VGG16, for classification of five diseases (Epilachna beetle infestation, little leaf, Cercospora leaf spot, two-spotted spider mite and Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV)) and a healthy plant in Solanum melongena (brinjal in Asia, eggplant in USA and aubergine in UK) with images acquired from smartphones. Area of study: Images were acquired from fields located at Alangudi (Pudukkottai district), Tirumalaisamudram and Pillayarpatti (Thanjavur district) – Tamil Nadu, India. Material and methods: Most of earlier studies have been carried out with images of isolated leaf samples, whereas in this work the whole or part of the plant images were utilized for the dataset creation. Augmentation techniques were applied to the manually segmented images for increasing the dataset size. The classification capability of deep learning models was analysed before and after augmentation. A fully connected layer was added to the architecture and evaluated for its performance. Main results: The modified architecture of VGG16 trained with the augmented dataset resulted in an average validation accuracy of 96.7%. Despite the best accuracy, all the models were tested with sample images from the field and the modified VGG16 resulted in an accuracy of 93.33%. Research highlights: The findings provide a guidance for possible factors to be considered in future research relevant to the dataset creation and methodology for efficient prediction using deep learning models.