WIWAM line design and final installation @ VIB

WIWAM line comprises a pot positioning table, consisting of several individual lines, an underlying portal robot, and one or more stations for imaging or weighing/watering activities. The complete system was implemented in an existing growth room, and was designed to optimally fit the available space.

Plants are grown in individual pots, which are picked up by the robotic arm at preset time intervals, bringing them to the imaging and weighing-watering stations. The robot pushes the lines of the table aside to create the required space in between for the robotic arm to locate a pot and lift it out of the table.

Images are acquired from different angles by an RGB side view camera, but an imaging station can accommodate a range of camera systems for non-invasive image acquisition. A combined weighing/watering station has been integrated on the robotic arm. Here, plants rotate while watering for an optimal water distribution in the pot. Irrigation precision is very high and goes up to +/- 1 mL. This allows for accurate soil humidity levels throughout the whole experiment.