Development of a sensor-based precision herbicide application system

Lei Tian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The smart sprayer, a local-vision-sensor-based precision chemical application system, was developed and tested. The long-term objectives of this project were to develop new technologies to estimate weed density and size in real-time, realize site-specific weed control, and effectively reduce the amount of herbicide applied to the crop fields. This research integrated a real-time machine vision sensing system and individual nozzle controlling device with a commercial map-driven-ready herbicide sprayer to create an intelligent sensing and spraying system. The machine vision system was specially designed to work under outdoor variable lighting conditions. Multiple vision sensors were used to cover the target area. Weed infestation conditions in each control zones (management zone) were detected rather than trying to identify each individual plant in the field. To increase the delivery accuracy, each individual spray nozzle was controlled separately. The integrated system was tested to evaluate the effectiveness and performance under varying commercial field conditions. Using the on-board differential GPS, geo-referenced chemical input maps (equivalent to weed maps) were also recorded in real-time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-149
Number of pages17
JournalComputers and Electronics in Agriculture
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Nov 2002


  • Machine-vision
  • Multiple sensors
  • Weedherbicide applications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Horticulture


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