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CIEMSA LookOut for wildfire in Uruguay

Buenos Dias!

CIEMSA deploys RoboticsCats LookOut wildfire detection service to mitigate forest fire risks in Piriapolis, Uruguay. An AXIS Q6215-LE HD PTZ camera is installed at San Antonio Hill. It is next to Templo San Antonio. The LookOut service joins the chapel to protect the beautiful city and bring peace to the communities.


Figure 1: View from the HD PTZ camera installed at San Antonio Hill

The land area and population of Uruguay are 176,215 km2 and 3.5 million respectively [1]. The capital is Montevideo. The landscape features mostly rolling plains and low hill ranges. Near 8 percent of Uruguay is forest. The average temperature for the midwinter month of July is 12°C (54°F) to 9°C (48°F), and the midsummer month of January is 26°C (79°F) to 22°C (72°F). Uruguay’s strongest exporting industries are agriculture, meat, and textiles. Uruguay ranks high on global measures of personal rights, tolerance, and inclusion issues. Uruguay is one of the world leaders in renewable energy adoption [2].

Piriapolis is a city on southern Uruguay’s Atlantic coast. Located in the Maldonado Department of Uruguay. It is about 100 km east of Montevideo. It is an important summer resort in the country. The peak travel season is between December and March. There are many famous attractions: Argentino Hotel Casino & Resort, Piriapolis Beach, San Antonio Hill, Cerro de Toro, and Castillo de Piria, etc. Brick oven pizza, chivitos (thinly sliced meat sandwiches), and local beer at a seaside restaurant are some of the tourist’s favorites!

Figure 2: Piriapolis is a city on southern Uruguay's Atlantic coast, 100 km east of Montevideo

According to a 2016 Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) study, Uruguay is a country with a long history of livestock husbandry economy, the burning of pastures has been a tradition – a common tool to renew the grasses on the periods previous to calve and to clear lands for different reasons. However, like in many other countries worldwide [3], rapid social, demographic, economic and environmental changes are observed, especially in the rural space and at the interface between the rural space and metropolitan/urban areas. These changes involve higher risks of uncontrolled wildfires, which are likely to be exacerbated by extreme droughts caused by climate change. Land-use fires set by stock farmers and getting out of control are a serious threat to natural forests, protected areas and plantation forests. Likewise, there is an increasing threat of wildfires caused accidentally or negligently by urban people during leisure and vacation travel.


Figure 3: The Piriapolis city area is surrounded by farmlands and forests. An HD PTZ camera is installed on a telecom tower on San Antonia Hill to detect wildfire.

CIEMSA is the leader in engineering, construction, infrastructure installation, operation and maintenance services for the public and private sectors in the Uruguayan market since 1980. CIEMSA’s mission: to integrate solutions that are based on knowledge, experience and technologies, to contribute to the sustainable development of clients, partners and community.

Figure 4: The HD PTZ camera and LookOut wildfire detection service work together to protect the forest areas in Piriapolis.

CIEMSA and Robotics Cats kicked off the wildfire detection project in mid-2020. The distance between Montevideo and Hong Kong is 18,318 km. (Circumference of Earth is about 40,075 km.) Quite a distance. All discussions and training are conducted online amid the travel restriction resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. We explored different solutions to move things forward if we cannot transport anything between borders. The teams overcome all the distance, time zone and language barriers to make things happen and to do things right! Asombroso!

Figure 5: LookOut detected control burns in Piriapolis

We are testing and optimizing the LookOut wildfire detection these few weeks. We will deploy more LookOut systems in Uruguay to prepare for the new wildfire season begins in March. It is now winter, some people do control burns to clean the land and reduce fuel. The new LookOut service detected several control burns in the last week. LookOut just works!

It is our pleasure to partner with CIEMSA to protect the forests and communities in Piriapolis from wildfire and support the city to achieve Sustainable Development Goals [4].

Please visit the LookOut wildfire detection service (formerly called AI-Cloud) product page to learn more about how it works.




  1. Hong Kong’s land area and population are 1,110 km2 and 7.5 million respectively
  2. Uruguay is recently obtained USD11m from the Joint United Nations Fund for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to implement energy transition in different economic sectors.
  3. Natural Hazards Threaten 57% of US Structures, Eurasia Review, Jun 2021
  4. Wildfire Impacts on Sustainable Development Goals (SGDS)

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