UF Invention of the Year: AI Technology ‘Agroview’ Recognized

Clint Thompson Florida, Top Posts

Yiannis Ampatzidis with agricultural drones in the laboratory. Photo taken 09-23-19.

Yiannis Ampatzidis and his research team at the University of Florida/IFAS found artificial intelligence technology that helps farmers save money and better care for their crops.

Out of that process, they invented a system known as Agroview. It captured the eye of UF Innovate | Tech Licensing, which recognized the technology as a UF Invention of the Year.

“I am extremely honored to receive this award,” said Ampatzidis, a young scientist who just entered his fourth year at UF/IFAS. “We truly believe that this AI-based technology could help Florida and U.S. producers improve crop productivity and management.”

Agroview utilizes drone and satellite images from drones and satellites to assess stress in plants, count and categorize plants based on their height and canopy area and estimate the plant’s nutrient content. It reduces data collection, analysis time and cost by up to 90% compared to the manual data collection, Ampatzidis said.

“Florida and U.S. growers can use this novel technology to count plants and predict yield to detect stressed plant zones earlier and to develop maps for precision and variable-rate fertilizer applications,” said Ampatzidis, a UF/IFAS assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering. “The maps can optimally apply fertilizers, reduce application cost and reduce environmental impact.”

Praise from Colleagues

“The Agroview product developed by Dr. Ampatzidis’ program provides the key for connecting UAV imagery to grower decisions. This product bridges a gap that existed between research and on-the-ground, everyday use,” said Kati Migliaccio, chair of the UF/IFAS agricultural and biological engineering department. “Dr. Ampatzidis uses AI in his programs to automate processes that have been traditionally been completed in more resource-expense ways. These efforts will allow for greater efficiency and optimization of the agricultural production process, which is necessary to meet future global food needs.”

Ampatzidis’ center director, Kelly Morgan, said SWFREC has a long history of supporting vegetable and citrus production.

“We have typically worked on standard inputs such as fertilizer, water and pesticides,” Morgan said. “Agroview is an example of the new emphasis on precision agriculture by the research center. This program will make growers in Florida much more efficient and result in far less environmental impact. This product of SWFREC should result in lower inputs of fertilizer, water and pesticides.”