A low-cost UAV framework towards ornamental plant detection and counting in the wild

Bayraktar E., Basarkan M. E., Celebi N.

ISPRS JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAMMETRY AND REMOTE SENSING, vol.167, pp.1-11, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 167
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.isprsjprs.2020.06.012
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Environment Index, Geobase, INSPEC, Metadex, Pollution Abstracts, DIALNET, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-11
  • Keywords: Object counting, Plant detection, Remote sensing, Aerial imagery, Geometrical relations, SPATIAL-RESOLUTION, CLASSIFICATION, IMAGES
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: No


Object detection still keeps its role as one of the fundamental challenges within the computer vision territory. In particular, achieving satisfying results concerning object detection from outdoor images occupies a considerable space. In this study, in addition to comparing handcrafted feature detector/descriptor performance with deep learning methods over ornamental plant images at the outdoor, we propose a framework to improve the detection of these plants. Firstly, we take query images in the RGB format from the onboard UAV camera. Secondly, our model classifies the scene as a planting or an urban area. Thirdly, if the images are from planting area, thirdly, we filter the field according to the color and acquire only the green parts. Lastly, we feed the object detector model with the filtered area and obtain the category and localization of the plants as a result. In parallel, we also estimate the number of interested plants using the geometrical relations and predefined average plant size, then we verify the outputs of the object detector with this results. The conducted experiments show that deep learning based object detection methods overtake conventional feature detector/descriptor techniques in terms of accuracy, recall, precision, and sensitivity rates. The field classifier model, VGGNet, achieves a 98.17% accuracy for this task, whilst YoloV3 achieves 91.6% accuracy with 0.12 IOU for object detection as the best method. The proposed framework also improves the overall performance of these algorithms by 1.27% for accuracy and 0.023 for IOU. By specifying the limits thoroughly and developing task-dependent approaches, we reveal the great potential of our framework plant detection and counting in the wild consisting of basic image preprocessing techniques, geometrical operations, and deep neural network.