Plant Science Tools


In-Situ Root Imager

View our Narrow Gauge Root Imager

Observing a root system throughout a plant’s life cycle is key to understanding overall plant behavior and health, and to improving crop performance.
The CI-600 is a minirhizotron that gives plant scientists, crop consultants, and farmers the ability to capture non-destructive, high-resolution, digital images of living roots in soil over multiple growing seasons. Durable and lightweight, the CI-600 is a portable minirhizotron that is easy to transport to any field location and can be used in sites with root tubes across a range of treatments or conditions. Our free root analysis software, RootSnap!, quickly and easily calculates parameters including root length, area, volume, diameter & branching angle.

Click here for a downloadable compilation of published research.


RootSnap!, our free image analysis software, allows users to measure root growth and turnover dynamics, disease, and behavior over time by analyzing scanned images collected with the CI-600. Roots are easily mapped and quantified using a multi-touch feature and our proprietary "Snap to Root" function. RootSnap! is intuitive and efficient, using universal commands for images and file manipulation. Files are stored in common open file formats (XML) and the software supports exporting data to apps like Excel for further statistical analysis.

Download RootSnap! Software for free

CI-690 RootSnap! Analysis Software Features:

  • Multi-touch Interface, optimized for touch-screen
  • Measurements of root length, area, volume, diameter & branching angle
  • Reports average values along with individual root data
  • Individual roots can be mapped in under 6 seconds
  • Integrated image enhancement
  • Automated "Snap to Root" functionality
  • Comprehensive image analysis package
  • Time-series root analysis feature
  • Intuitive and efficient user interface


  • High-resolution images (up to 23.5 million pixels)
  • Linear scanning with no distortion
  • 100, 300, 600 DPI scanning resolutions
  • 360-degree scans (21.59 × 19.56cm)
  • Live-updating root images
  • Included tablet computer powers scanner, operates control software, and saves images
  • Portable and convenient to transport and insert into root tubes
  • Allows observation of root growth and behavior over multiple growing seasons


Image Size: 21.6 × 19.6 cm (8.5" × 7.7")

Scan Speed: 30-480 seconds* depending on scanning
resolution (100DPI-600DPI)

Image Resolution: Up to 600 DPI

Computer: Handheld tablet

Interface: USB Cable

Scan Head Dimensions: 34.3 cm long × 6.35 cm diameter

Scanner Unit Weight: 750g

System Requirements:

Microsoft Windows 7, 8, 10 
1GB Memory/RAM 1GHZ+ Processor

(Windows XP and Vista may work, however we are unable to provide technical support for users of these operating systems

* Scan speeds for handheld tablet included with scanner. Scan speeds vary with device used to operate scanner.

Root Tube Dimensions

Inner Diameter: 2.5 in (6.35cm)

Outer Diameter: 2.75 in (7cm)

Wall Thickness: 0.12 in (3.2mm)

Standard Length: 41.3 in (105cm)

How to Use it

To obtain an image, insert the CI-600 scan head into a pre-installed underground tube and initiate a scan using the tablet computer. The scan head automatically rotates nearly 360-degrees, creating a 21.59 × 19.56 cm, high-resolution color image of the soil and roots. Users can easily move the scan head to different depths of the tube at calculated intervals using the indexing handle.

For more information about how to use the CI-600 In-Situ Root Imager, read our How It Works guide.

In the Box

The CI-600 In-Situ Root Imager includes:

  • The CI-600 main scanner unit
  • USB connecting cable
  • Six 105cm standard clear tubes with water-tight
    end caps
  • Indexing handle
  • Operation manual
  • Calibration tube
  • Tablet computer preloaded with scanning software
    and RootSnap! imaging analysis software
  • Software manual
  • Hard-shell instrument carrying case