Vision-based judgment of tomato maturity under growth conditions
To determine the picking time of tomato and design the control strategy for the harvesting robot, the judgment of tomato maturity under natural conditions is required. Tomato samples were collected based on the fruit growth conditions which were divided into five different stages in this article: breakers, turning, pink, light-red, and red stages. The visible CCD camera VS-880HC was adopted to shoot visible images, while the near-infrared images at a wavelength of 810 nm were screened by MS- 3100 multi-spectral camera. The variations of samples, about color features, were analyzed. The tests indicated that with the changes in maturity, the hue-mean of tomato decreased and the red-green colordifference image mean increased. The standard deviations of the hue-mean and red-green image mean were the largest values for tomato in the pink stage, but the intensity mean of the near-infrared image for tomato in the pink stage had the lowest value. Hue-mean and red-green color-difference image mean can be used as a criterion for the judgment of tomato maturity, and the tests indicated that the redgreen mean method was more satisfactory than that of the hue-mean in the maturity recognition methods of tomato fruit with an accuracy of over 96%. The intermediate divisions of five different maturity stages, which were divided by red-green color-difference image mean, were 0, 23.5, 42.5 and 70. The judgment errors of the two methods are mainly caused by the recognition of tomatoes at the pink stage.
Key words: Tomato, maturity, image, judgment.