<p>Productivity stabilization is a critical issue facing plant factories. As such, researchers have been investigating growth prediction with the overall goal of improving productivity. The projected area of a plant (PA) is usually used for growth prediction, by which the growth of a plant is estimated by observing the overall approximate movement of the plant. To overcome this problem, this study focused on the time-series movement of plant leaves, using optical flow (OF) analysis to acquire this information for a lettuce. OF analysis is an image processing method that extracts the difference between two consecutive frames caused by the movement of the subject. Experiments were carried out at a commercial large-scale plant factory. By using a microcomputer with a camera module placed above the lettuce seedlings, images of 338 seedlings were taken every 20 min over 9 days (from the 6th to the 15th day after sowing). Then, the features of the leaf movement were extracted from the image by calculating the normal-vector in the OF analysis, and these features were applied to machine learning to predict the fresh weight of the lettuce at harvest time (38 days after sowing). The growth prediction model using the features extracted from the OF analysis was found to perform well with a correlation ratio of 0.743. Furthermore, this study also considered a phenotyping system that was capable of automatically analyzing a plant image, which would allow this growth prediction model to be widely used in commercial plant factories.</p
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