Our website use cookies to improve and personalize your experience and to display advertisements(if any). Our website may also include cookies from third parties like Google Adsense, Google Analytics, Youtube. By using the website, you consent to the use of cookies. We have updated our Privacy Policy. Please click on the button to check our Privacy Policy.

Realtime AI bird detection using Smartphone

We are working with several nature reserves and NGOs to do joint research on bird detection. Their locations are very different, and the animals they want to monitor are not the same. There is one thing in common: they are keen to use new technology. They are interested in using cameras and AI to detect wildfires and wildlife.

Fig 1: Mai Po Nature Reserve, October 2022

We partnered with WWF Hong Kong to set up a PTZ (pan-til-zoom) visual camera at Mai Po Nature Reserve. The camera is sending images to our LookOut AI platform to detect birds.

Fig 2: A PTZ camera is monitoring one of the shrimp ponds in Mai Po Nature Reserve

For a relatively small city Hong Kong has an incredibly rich biodiversity, especially in the wetlands. Under the management of WWF Hong Kong, Mai Po Nature Reserve has become an iconic wetland for Hong Kong and South China – providing food and habitat for over 60,000 birds from more than 400 species each year, including the endangered black-faced spoonbill, Saunders’ gull, and Nordmann’s greenshank.

Alongside the Mai Po and Inner Deep Bay Ramsar sites, the reserve is home to various types of local wildlife including aquatic fauna, insects, amphibians, reptiles, fish, and mammals.

Fig 3: There are 24 shrimp ponds in the Mai Po Nature Reserve. Source: WWF Hong Kong

The reserve also includes inter-tidal mangroves along with 24 traditionally operated shrimp ponds (called Gei Wai in Cantonese) to provide food for the birds. Mai Po Nature Reserve receives some 32,000 visitors annually.

The PTZ video camera and our LookOut AI platform detect birds every day. The initial research result is promising. The system detects more birds recently as more migratory birds come to Hong Kong for their winter holidays. The camera setup helps build a digital record of the migratory birds.

Fig 4: Great Cormorants are showing up in Mai Po Nature Reserve since early October
Fig 5: A smartphone with LookOut Cam app installed is deployed to detect birds

The 400 bird species are distributed unevenly among the 24 shrimp ponds. To capture more and better bird images, we explore using our LookOut Cam app. LookOut Cam app turns an Android phone into an image-capturing device for our LookOut AI detection platform. We used old phones to reduce our equipment costs. It reduces e-waste too. A 5-year-old smartphone is too slow for the metaverse, but it is still a very good camera for the nature environment.

Fig 6: A Sunnybag LEAF PRO solar panel provides additional power to the smartphone

We select several shrimp ponds to put smartphones to detect birds. It is a very interesting experiment. We will deploy similar setup in other locations and get more user feedback. We are excited to review the early results in the coming months and share with you the performance. Stay tuned.

Fig 7: Another smartphone with LookOut Cam app installed is deployed to detect birds in another shrimp pond.

Please contact us at info@roboticscats.com if you have any question or suggestion.

By Andre Cheung

I am lucky working in the ICT industry in the past 20 years to collaborate with colleagues, partners and customers to use technologies to change the way we work, live, play and learn! I have strong interests in cloud computing, AI and information security. “It is the technologies marry with liberal arts, marry with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing!”

Related Posts