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Customer interview: CIEMSA in Uruguay

On Thursday, July 30, 2022, CITRIS Workforce Innovation intern, Azarely Bedolla, had the opportunity to chat with RoboticsCats’ proud customer, CIEMSA, to hear more about their experiences using LookOut Wildfire Detection SaaS. CIEMSA is a Uruguay based company, providing infrastructure engineering, construction, assembly, operation, and maintenance services. Their project manager, Jose Adrien, expressed that their motivation for wanting to mitigate wildfire with extensive technology is due to the growing concern for many of Uruguay’s communities. In Uruguay, as temperatures are increasing, wildfires continue to threaten local communities, businesses, and the natural environment. The country has many agricultural and forested regions along with the many Eucalyptus plantations which further motivates CIEMSA to protect Uruguay’s natural resources.

Figure 1: online interview between Jose Adrien (bottom), Azarely Bedolla (left), and Andre Cheung (right)

Jose shared that LookOut services met all of the company’s requirements and that their expectations were exceeded. CIEMSA has deployed cameras in 6 different regions in Uruguay to detect wildfires near wildland urban interface. As a major enterprise in Uruguay, CIEMSA did research of potential wildfire detection technologies around the world. They picked RoboticsCats because of their technological advancement and performance. This was a good selection because their services are easy to deploy and quick to detect visible smoke and fire. Working with imagery technology has its advantages since the position of deployed cameras offers good surveillance of the landscape and they are able to be paired with Artificial intelligence.

Fig 2: LookOut Wildfire Detection SaaS applies advanced Machine Learning algorithms to detect early-stage wildfire. LookOut can detect far aways small wildfire smoke from images.

An improvement that Jose would like to see with LookOut Wildfire detection SaaS is being able to provide the GPS location of a wildfire once it has been spotted. RoboticsCats is doing joint research with UC students this summer to estimate the direction and distance of the detected wildfire hotspot from the camera. RoboticsCats will integrate this feature into their products. It will provide authorities and first responders with critical information that is needed to reach and suppress these wildfires in a timely manner.

In the coming fire seasons, CIEMSA plans to deploy more cameras and will continue to use LookOut Wildfire Detection SaaS to support local firefighters in protecting the environment and communities from forest fires. 

Fig 3: Piriapolis is the first city in Uruguay with LookOut wildfire detection deployment. LookOut has been protecting the environment and communities from wildfire since June 2021.

Something that I learned throughout this interview is that although these two teams, RoboticsCats and CIEMSA, are located on opposite sides of the world and are faced with language and time zone differences, they make the effort to work together to achieve a common goal. As overseas partners, they overcome these challenges and are working seamlessly, with the help of technology, so that their communities and environments remain protected from climate change and wildfires. The collaboration between RoboticsCats and CIEMSA showed me that the will to make the world a better and safer place should not be limited by physical borders.



  1. CIEMSA LookOut for wildfire in Uruguay
  2. CIEMSA protects Cabo Polinio National Park from Wildland Fire

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