Computational Intelligence (CI) techniques have been widely applied to solve real world problems. However, in the field of agriculture, the use and adoption of these techniques has been limited and it has not yet made its break through.
An example of a challenging agronomical problem is the cutting of banana hands. Banana producers have around 15 different hand cuts. They vary according to size, length, weight, curvature and number of fingers. There are many ways to cut hands to fulfil an order while minimizing the amount of waste. It therefore becomes impossible to evaluate every cutting strategy as it becomes too computationally expensive. Human field experts can only rely on their experience and cannot afford to try new cutting strategies which might generate large amounts of waste.
OPTIcut, developed by DIGITS at DMU, is proof of a concept that uses of CI methods to deliver cutting strategies which minimize waste. Tests in the field in Central America showed a reductions in waste levels of between 5% and 10%.
For further information on OPTIcut please see here.