Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Electrical Engineering


Electrical Engineering


College of Engineering


Jane Zhang

Advisor Department

Electrical Engineering

Advisor College

College of Engineering


Strawberry is an important cash crop in California, and its supply accounts for 80% of the US market [2]. However, in current practice, strawberries are picked manually, which is very labor-intensive and time-consuming. In addition, the farmers need to hire an appropriate number of laborers to harvest the berries based on the estimated volume. When overestimating the yield, it will cause a waste of human resources, while underestimating the yield will cause the loss of the strawberry harvest [3]. Therefore, accurately estimating harvest volume in the field is important to farmers. This paper focuses on an image-based solution to detect strawberries in the field by using the traditional computer vision technique and deep learning method.

When strawberries are in different growth stages, there are considerable differences in their color. Therefore, various color spaces are first studied in this work, and the most effective color components are used in detecting strawberries and differentiating mature and immature strawberries.

In some color channels such as the R color channel from the RGB color model, Hue color channel from the HSV color model, 'a' color channel from the Lab color model, the pixels belonging to ripe strawberries are clearly distinguished from the background pixels. Thus, the color-based K-mean cluster algorithm to detect red strawberries will be exploited. Finally, it achieves a 90.5% truth-positive rate for detecting red strawberries. For detecting the unripe strawberry, this thesis first trained the Support Vector Machine classifier based on the HOG feature. After optimizing the classifier through hard negative mining, the truth-positive rate reached 81.11%.

Finally, when exploring the deep learning model, two detectors based on different pre-trained models were trained using TensorFlow Object Detection API with the acceleration of Amazon Web Services' GPU instance. When detecting in a single strawberry plant image, they have achieved truth-positive rates of 89.2% and 92.3%, respectively; while in the strawberry field image with multiple plants, they have reached 85.5% and 86.3%.