Tokyo – Bridgestone Corp. has developed an artificial intelligence-based imaging technology to combat the increasing problem of disease in para natural rubber trees.
The joint project, with Information Services International-Dentsu Ltd, combines the power of aerial-drone photography and AI image analysis with the knowledge of on-site farm disease experts.
According to Bridgestone, the work has provided a technology that can distinguish between healthy trees and trees with white root disease (WRD) that causes trees to rot if left untreated.
Covering “vast” farm areas, the AI technology offers a step forward on existing detection methods, which require skilled experts to evaluate the foliage and factors such as leaf colour and leaf development of individual rubber trees.
In trials, Bridgestone said the technology was able to identify trees with WRD with about 90% accuracy, regardless of tree type or age.
“This technology makes it possible to diagnose and treat trees with WRD at early stages, before the disease impacts rubber yield,” the company stated.