IALR’s SMART tables continue to advance technologically. The tables, which are precision imaging platforms built to record and track plant growth and development, now have the ability to robotically test soil conditions such as moisture and temperature. This was made possible as part of a Virginia Tech Mechanical Engineering Senior Design project. The year-long challenge was spearheaded by five Mechanical Engineering students who were tasked to develop and implement the new modular heads. Additionally, a new camera platform was included to enhance computer vision analysis of plant growth and health. These improvements will enable IALR scientists to more precisely monitor plant growth conditions to better validate test results. The modular head design will also allow further development of new soil sensing probes in the future.
Team members included: Jeonghee Lee, Rhythm Kim, Philip Meekhof, Brad Jones, and Tanner Gunn. Their advisor was Christopher Kappes.
The Senior Design team visited IALR in May to install the new modular heads.
Photo: Chief Scientist Scott Lowman, PhD, VA Tech seniors Brad Jones, Philip Meekhof, Tanner Gunn, Jeonghee Lee, and Executive Director Mark Gignac (left to right)