Vision-Based UAV Navigation in Orchards

Nikolaos Stefas, Haluk Bayram, Volkan Isler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are becoming increasingly common in agricultural applications. Currently, they are primarily used to fly over fields in open space. Navigation inside orchard-like environments remains challenging. We study the problem of orchard navigation with cameras on an aerial vehicle. We study both the controller and the vision component. For the vision component, we provide two methods for detecting orchard rows with frontal facing cameras. In the monocular case, we present a pipeline to extract the geometry of tree rows when there is a well defined path structure. In the binocular case, we present a depth-based navigation algorithm to extract the rows. For the controller component, we design a controller that uses both frontal and downward facing cameras and provides reliable performance even on the presence of strong wind disturbances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-15
Number of pages6
Issue number16
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
★★ This work is supported in part by ffiSF Awards 1111638, 1525045 ★ This work is supported in part by ffiSF Awards 1111638, 1525045 anTdhtihsewoMrknDisrisvueppinoirttieadtivine.pTarhtebyauftfihSoFrsAtwhaarndks 1P1r1o1fe6s3s8o,rs15E25m0i4ly5 and the MnDrive initiative. The authors thank Professors Emily Hnodovtehre, CMinndDyrTivoenginaitnidatJivaem. eTs hLeubayutfrhoomrs tthheaDnkepPartomfeesnstorosf HEmoritliy-Hoover, Cindy Tong and James Luby from the Department of Horti-cuoltouvrear,l CSciniednyceT,oUnngivaenrdsiJtyamofesMLinunbeysofrtoamfotrhaecDceespsatrotmtheenitr oofrcHhoarrtdis-cultural Science, University of Minnesota for access to their orchards cunldtuursaelfuSlcideinscceu,sUsionnivse.rWsiteyaolfsoMtihnanneksoDtar.foKrraischcensas Dtootdhdeaipraonrcehnai rfdosr and useful discussions. We also thank Dr. Krishna Doddapaneni for hnisdhueslpefuwlitdhistchuesseioxnpse.riWmenatlss.o thank Dr. Krishna Doddapaneni for his help with the experiments. his help with the experiments.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016


  • Agricultural Robotics
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
  • Vision-based navigation


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