The New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage now monitors threatened plants and animals by using AI-based image analysis solution Digital Owl
"This technology could change the way we find and monitor threatened species, saving us both time and money."
The Fujitsu Digital Owl solution uses AI to process thousands of drone images, and helped the NSW Government’s Saving our Species program to find and monitor hard-to-reach threatened species.
A flagship threatened species conservation program, Saving our Species is an element of the NSW Government’s Environment portfolio. As part of this, $100 million, over five years (2016 – 2021), has been committed to help secure the future of NSW threatened plants and animals. Saving our Species combines best-practice science and research, with practical on-ground actions that directly benefit threatened species and the land they inhabit.
Locating and monitoring threatened plants and animals can be difficult in the rugged and vast Australian landscape. It was for this reason that Fujitsu approached the Saving our Species program (SoS) as it identified an opportunity to apply its advanced technology and analytics to make threatened species monitoring more efficient.
Fujitsu and SoS worked with drone specialist, Carbonbix, to dispatch a drone fitted with a 5kg hyperspectral video camera capable of taking five photos a second. Pictures were analysed using Fujitsu Advanced Image Recognition software to detect threatened plants
- Fujitsu Digital Owl is far more cost effective and produces fewer emissions than using a helicopter
- AI image analysis gives an instant view of the specific plants, which can then be monitored
- The AI image analysis shows the broader habitats where the plants are found, helping to inform the actions needed to save these species