Document Type




Publication Date



Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)

Source Publication

IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

DOI: 10.1109/LRA.2018.2849498


In fruit production, critical crop management decisions are guided by bloom intensity, i.e., the number of flowers present in an orchard. Despite its importance, bloom intensity is still typically estimated by means of human visual inspection. Existing automated computer vision systems for flower identification are based on hand-engineered techniques that work only under specific conditions and with limited performance. This letter proposes an automated technique for flower identification that is robust to uncontrolled environments and applicable to different flower species. Our method relies on an end-to-end residual convolutional neural network (CNN) that represents the state-of-the-art in semantic segmentation. To enhance its sensitivity to flowers, we fine-tune this network using a single dataset of apple flower images. Since CNNs tend to produce coarse segmentations, we employ a refinement method to better distinguish between individual flower instances. Without any preprocessing or dataset-specific training, experimental results on images of apple, peach, and pear flowers, acquired under different conditions demonstrate the robustness and broad applicability of our method.


Accepted version. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, Vol. 3, No. 4 (October 2018): 3003-3010. DOI. © 2018 Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). Used with permission.

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