That's where our four-wheeler comes in. As we drive along, a camera takes five high-resolution pictures of the vines every second. Separately, a laser scanner is imaging the plants. Nuske and his colleagues work at night to ensure that the light stays constant in the photos, and will gather about a terabyte of data over the next few hours. Later, a machine vision system they developed will detect individual grapes among the foliage and calculate the number to within 5 per cent of the actual total – far better than a human can do. Placing these grapes on the laser scanner's 3D map of the field will reveal areas that look particularly thin, for instance, or which need pruning.
New Scientist (sub required)