Authors:S. Cubero, E. Moltó, A. Gutiérrez, N. Aleixos, O. García-Navarrete, F. Juste, and J. Blasco
The best alternative for reducing citrus production costs is mechanization. Machine vision is a reliable technology for the automatic inspection of fresh fruits and vegetables that can be adapted to harvesting machines. In these, fruits can be inspected before sending them to the packinghouse and machine vision provides important information for subsequent processing and avoids spending further resources in non-marketable fruit. The present work describes a computer vision system installed on a harvesting machine developed jointly by IVIA and a Spanish enterprise. In this machine, hand pickers directly drop the fruit as they collect it, which results in an important increase of productivity. The machine vision system is placed over rollers in order to inspect the produce, and separate those that can be directly sent to the fresh market from those that do not meet minimal quality requirements but can be used by the processing industry, based on color, size and the presence of surface damages. The system was tested under field conditions.