PACMAN’s research activity will:
- develop science based guidelines to precisely manage crop load precisely and maximize crop value for important high-value apple varieties being planted and specific guidelines for western, southeastern, northeastern and midwestern apple growers and extend the information nationally
- develop and extend information on the large economic impacts and opportunities when crop load is managed precisely and extend the information nationally
- and develop computer vision and robotic tools to collect the necessary data to guide human workers or robots to precisely manage crop load.
More specifically, PACMAN’s long-term research goals include:
- Develop and disseminate user-friendly computer-based models and comprehensive crop load management strategies to achieve optimal crop load and maximize crop value.
- Develop, demonstrate, and deploy machine vision and robotic tools to accurately count reproductive structures during dormancy, bud break, bloom, and at the fruitlet stage and georeference the information to facilitate precision management at the tree level.
- Develop autonomous vehicles and end effectors designed for crop load management that can precisely measure and adjust crop load during dormancy, bud break, bloom, and fruitlet stage.
- Evaluate and demonstrate the economic and sociological impacts of adopting precision crop load management for sustainable apple production.
- Initiate rapid and effective outreach efforts to expedite the adoption of precision crop load management for sustainable apple production.
PACMAN’s research team includes:
Terence Robinson (Project Director), Lailiang Cheng (Co-Project Director), Miguel Gomez, Greg Peck, and Yu Jiang, Cornell University
Stefano Musacchi, Washington State University
Todd Einhorn, Michigan State University
Long He, Paul Heinemann, and Dana Choi, Pennsylvania State University
Tom Kon, North Carolina State University
Sherif Sherif, Virginia Tech University
Tory Schmidt, Washington Tree Fruit Research Committee
Chris Layer, MOOG Inc., Space Group
Roderick Farrow (Collaborator), Fish Creek Farms