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laser divided plant buds are double fruiting

A laser and a computer do image recognition on a tree. The laser zaps the buds early enough so that they are divided in two, then when they grow out there is twice as much foliage or fruit.
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A computer does image recognition on a tree, then activates a laser. The laser zaps the buds early enough so that they are divided in two, then when they grow out there is twice as much foliage or fruit.

It is possible that this could be super cheap, with something rather like a photovoltaic pathlight gradually filling up to produce a 1 second laser emission as well as powering the image sensor and computing.

I think compared with a horticulturist doing this manually, dividing a bud, or other plant structure to produce two, it is possible to improve productivity.

beanangel, Oct 26 2016

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       Hmm. Do horticulturalists actually divide buds manually at present? Does it work?
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 26 2016
  

       I think they do.   

       [+] The effort required to bun something that sounds right is less than the effort required to do the research to prove it wrong.
FlyingToaster, Oct 26 2016
  

       Prediction:   

       A twitchy old creep horticulturist won't be able to do this with knife or laser, and will file a union grievance.
popbottle, Oct 26 2016
  

       I actually think the problem is actually the opposite—most fruiting trees produce too much fruit, not too little. The net result is that each fruit is smaller, while the aggregate weight of the increased number of fruit can actually harm the tree. Many fruit trees require pruning to reduce the number of buds to ensure optimal production.
ytk, Oct 27 2016
  

       Use the laser to prune the buds then?
notexactly, Oct 27 2016
  

       lasers [+]
Voice, Oct 28 2016
  

       Don't forget the complex computing and engineering to manipulate a laser armed robot around a tree to gain best position without destroy the plant.
wjt, Oct 29 2016
  
      
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