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Enlisting robotics to study drought-tolerant corn

Autonomous systems collect essential data on crop efficiency and yield

A mobile sensor tower and robot vehicle take 3-D images of corn plants.

A mobile sensor tower and robot vehicle take 3-D images of corn plants.
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February 1, 2018

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Developing drought-tolerant corn that makes efficient use of available water will be vital to sustain the estimated 9 billion global population by 2050. University of Missouri researchers have developed two robotic systems, the Vinobot and the Vinoculer to study how corn maintains root growth during drought conditions. The mobile robots have sensors and robotic arms to collect temperature, humidity and light intensity at three different heights on the corn plant, assessing growth, development, yield, tolerance and resistance to environmental stressors by correlating these to physiology and shape of the plants. Inexpensive and efficient, the Vinobots generate more data than aerial vehicles and are changing the way agriculturalists collect data.

NSF Directorate(s):
Office of Integrative Activities


Related Awards
#1355406 The Missouri Transect: Climate, Plants, and Community
#1430427 Collaborative Research on Plant Stress Response Through Innovations in Phenomics and Molecular Imaging Technologies

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