Giannis talks about his Machine Vision internship at Polariks
As part of his Master studies in Biosystems Engineering at the Wageningen University, Giannis is doing a Machine Vision internship at Polariks.
To give you a sneak peak of Giannis work and some insights on what an internship at our company looks like, we asked him some questions.
Q: Hi Giannis, could you quickly present what are the objectives of your internship?
A: My goal is to measure Total Soluble Solids (TSS), or in other words sugar content, in fruits and more specifically strawberries, tomatoes and grapes in a non-destructive way with the use of hyperspectral imaging.
The traditional way to measure TSS is by crushing, squeezing or blending the fruit. However by doing so you actually destroy the fruit. As a result you can just have a look at a sample of your production and hope that your sample is indicative of the whole batch. Imaging technology allows to measure every single fruit resulting in less variations in taste and quality within a batch.
TSS content is really important as it plays a crucial role in taste but also in the post-harvest physiology of fruit, affecting shelf-life and transportation.
Q: What are you currently working on?
A: Currently, I am working on determination of TSS of tomatoes at different ripening stages under lab conditions. (See picture)
Q: What is the next step for your project?
A: The next step is to try to measure TSS in greenhouses/fields in an accurate way. So far there has been lot of publications on measuring TSS under perfect lab conditions. My goal is to prove that greenhouse measurements are also feasible.
Q: Why did you choose to do your internship at Polariks?
A: While I was searching for a company to do my internship I came across Polariks. After visiting the website and having a look at the projects, I was intrigued by Polariks approach to combine high tech solutions to modern agriculture. My first thoughts were that those technologies could not only help growers and improve product quality but also reduce the environmental impact that modern agriculture has.
As a result, I sent an email expressing my interest and I got invited to meet with Max and Dennis. We had a nice talk where they explained to me their vision and their current projects.
After that meeting, lots of ideas started to come to my mind with all the opportunities Polariks technology had to offer to modern agriculture. In the end I decided to do an internship with Polariks based on the following criteria: 1) the mentality of the management and how passionate they were about what they wanted to do, 2) the chance to work with cutting edge technology on innovative products in a fast-growing industry such as precision agriculture and 3) the many possibilities I could think of where Polariks technologies could find applications.
Q: What is your experience with working within a startup?
A: When I announced to my friends and classmates that I was going to do my internship at a startup company their reactions varied from 'That sounds perfect!' to 'Are you sure about it?'. Two months have already passed since I began my internship. I can happily tell you that the experience so far has been highly rewarding. Being part of a startup allows you to work on pioneer projects and with people that share the same mentality with you and are passionate about innovation. At the same time working at a startup comes with more responsibilities as people are relying on you to complete certain projects, but the fulfillment you feel when you are delivering your work is an amazing experience. As a result, I would highly encourage people to work at a startup company such as Polariks!