In this prototype, we have not physically connected the computer vision component with the motorized pollen collector. However, we imagined that the mechanized arm holding the motor would be capable of moving in three dimensions. Another challenge for this automated pollination system would be reading depth of field. Our prototype recognizes color, but we need additional measures to read the Z-coordinate (stereoscopy or range imaging are options).
We also need to have a pollination process for plants that are not capable of self-pollination.
This could also lead to selective breeding and cross pollination, which would add to the merit of this project as a scientific endeavor.
There are also some remaining questions regarding scaling and improving the technology to make it wireless and more intelligent:
- Are there other methods to achieve the same goal, like robotic arms or drone bees?
- How can the prototype scale to include different types of plants selected for the mission?
- How can we use this technology to experiment with selective breeding?
- How energy-intensive is this technology?
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