UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical Engineering have invented a novel device that can quantify chlorophyll concentration in plants using a custom-designed Google Glass app.
Large-scale industrialization over the past century has led to a range of environmental impacts in air quality, soil and water pollution, deforestation, and desertification, resulting in both urban and rural public health safety concerns and alarm over human-driven climate change. Plant health and growth rates can be used as an indicator for many environmental factors, where plant chlorophyll concentrations can be used as an important metric. However, methods that directly measure chlorophyll use chemical extraction, which is destructive, complex, time-consuming, and requires trained personnel. Likewise, technologies that can indirectly measure chlorophyll are either based on macroscale analysis or can only analyze small areas, requiring multiple measurements across a leaf’s surface.
Researchers led by Professor Aydogan Ozcan have developed a novel custom-designed Google Glass app with a 3D-printed hand-held portable leaf holder and illuminator device that can rapidly, accurately, and non-destructively estimate chlorophyll levels in various plant species over a wide range of chlorophyll concentrations. This Google Glass based platform can assess plant health under different lighting conditions, providing an excellent alternative to existing methods that are more complex, expensive, or time consuming. This innovative invention will be useful for urban plant monitoring, measuring the effects of climate change, as well as for early detection of water, soil, and air quality degradation.
Prototype devices have been developed and extensively tested, where chlorophyll indices of fifteen different plant species were accurately and blindly estimated under both indoor and outdoor lighting environments.
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||10,175,215||01/08/2019||2015-469|
Plant chlorophyll, plants, chlorophyll, Google Glass, climate change, water pollution, soil pollution, air quality, urban planting, agriculture