Tutorial: Sensor Applications for Precision Agriculture and Food Industry

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Sensor Applications for Precision Agriculture and Food Industry

Gourab Sen Gupta

School of Engineering and Advanced Technology (SEAT), Massey University, New Zealand





As the population of the world grows, the demand for food will increase at a rapid pace. Coupled with this growth in population is the increase in affordance of high quality food due to higher incomes. This has led to immense research and investment in precision agriculture for higher yield and in food industry, especially related to quality measurement. In the entire food chain, from the pasture to the plate, a gamut of sensors is being employed, with clever instrumentation and measurement techniques, to improve productivity and quality.

In this tutorial presentation I will cover several important areas, such as:

  • sensors for greenhouse climate monitoring and automated wireless greenhouse climate monitoring system
  • design and fabrication of an anthropomorphic robotic system to monitor the health of plant in a laboratory using low-cost RGB colour sensors
  • a novel pressure sensor application for food texture measurement (temporal and spatial distribution)
  • vision based cattle health monitoring systems, such as Body Condition Score of cows
  • disease detection using novel sensor platforms, such as lameness in cows
  • sensor/actuator wireless network for farm equipment automation 


Dr Gourab Sen Gupta received his B.E. (Electronics) degree from the University of Indore, India, in 1982, Master of Electronics Engineering (MEE) degree from the Philips International Institute, Technical University of Eindhoven, Holland, in 1984 and PhD in Computer Systems Engineering from Massey University in 2008. Since September 2002 he has been with the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, Massey University, New Zealand, where he is currently an Associate Professor and Director, Engineering Programme.

His current research interests are sensors and instrumentation for robotics and embedded systems. Several of his current research projects are on sensor applications for assistive living and precision agriculture. He has published over 130 papers in various journals and conference proceedings. He has authored three books and 7 book chapters. He has been a guest editor of IEEE Sensors Journal, International Journal of Intelligent Systems Technologies and Applications (IJISTA), and Studies in Computational Intelligence by Springer-Verlag. He has served on the organizing committee of several international conferences and as Publication Chair for I2 MTC 2009 held in Singapore. He chairs the biennial conference ICARA (International Conference on Automation, Robotics and Applications) which is held in New Zealand and technically sponsored by IEEE I&M Society. He has been invited to deliver keynote addresses in several international forums on robotics and automation. He is a senior member of IEEE since 2005 and a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society (IMS) for 2012 to 2015.