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RoboticsCats Leverages Google Technologies to Innovate AI Wildfire Detection

RoboticsCats innovates AI solutions to mitigate wildfire risks and damages, protect infrastructure, and conserve biodiversity. We work closely with our technology partners in our R&D activities. One of our key partners is Google. We leverage Google technologies to build our products. Below is an inventory list as of August 2023.

1. ReportFires app

Problem: Most wildfires are reported to authorities by the public over the phone. It is challenging to share wildfire locations correctly by verbal communication.

Solution: a simple map app to report wildfire location in 3 clicks.

ReportFires is a crowdsourcing application. A user can report wildfire locations with simple map clicks via the ReportFires web app and mobile apps. Mobile app users can receive real-time alerts about reported wildfires near them.  

We built ReportFires using Google Maps API and Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) platforms.

We developed the ReportFires web app MVP in Feburary 2020 and launched it in March.

Fig 1:Visit the ReportFires web app at https://reportfires.roboticscats.com. Allow your browser to share your location. Click the fire icon on the lower left-hand corner to report the location of the fire you see.
Fig 2: A map window will pop up. The red pin is your current location. Click on the map to move the pin to the location of the wildfire you see, then click “Submit Report” to report the wildfire location. You can pinch to zoom in and zoom out the map.

We ran a Kickstarter campaign in to fund the development of the ReportFires iOS app, which was published in October 2020. Mobile app supports real-time notifications of nearby wildfires reported ReportFires users. The ReportFires Android app was released in September 2021.

Fig 3: ReportFires mobile app. You can report wildfire location with simple map clicks, similar to the ReportFires web app. You will receive alerts and the locations of the nearby wildfires reported by other users.

2. LookOut Wildfire Detection SaaS

Problem: with climate change, there are more and bigger wildfires in even more places. Government, businesses and homeowners need early detections to take timely responds. Most of the current solutions are not accurate, require human intervention, expensive to buy/install/operate, take a lot of time (3 to 12 months) to procure and install, and difficult to set up and operate.

Solution: an AI wildfire detection software-as-a-service to detect wildfires in the images captured by existing surveillance cameras. Users will receive detection alert by email and mobile app notification. It is accurate, automatic, affordable, quick-to-deploy (in couple of minutes) and easy-to-use.

LookOut is the world’s first AI Wildfire Detection SaaS. LookOut employs Machine Learning object detection to identify early-stage wildfires from visual images. Users set up their AXIS surveillance cameras to send images to LookOut periodically to detect forest fires. Users can also configure LookOut to find wildland fires in public images. LookOut sends detection alerts to users via emails, ReportFires mobile apps, and API calls.

LookOut operates on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). We use multiple GCP services to make LookOut a reliable and scalable platform to serve customers around the world.

We implemented the first pilot customer in Hong Kong in March 2021. The first international deployment was installed in Piriapolis, Uruguay, in June 2021. We officially launched LookOut in September 2021. LookOut is now serving customers on four continents. The first LookOut system in Colombia was deployed in Bogota in August 2023.

Fig 4: The first LookOut Wildfire Detection SaaS pilot in Hong Kong
Fig 5: The LookOut Wildfire Detection deployment in Piriapolis, Uruguay. LookOut sends wildfire detection alerts to registered ReportFires users.

3. LookOut Cam app

Problem: what if a potential customer urgently wants to use LookOut Wildfire Detection SaaS, and neither surveillance cameras are pointing to the area of interest nor any public images showing it? It takes weeks to procure and install new cameras…

Solution: We make use of the most popular and available cameras in the world – our smartphones.

Our LookOut Cam app turns an Android smartphone into a real-time image-capturing device to provide inputs to LookOut Wildfire Detection SaaS. It takes you one minute to download and set up.

LookOut Cam is an immediately available real-time image input source. It is a super handy option for trial, PoC and emergency use. It reuses and repurposes a used smartphone to protect our forests and biodiversity. 

We recommend commercial outdoor IP66/68 surveillance cameras with Rectilinear Lenses and Wipers for best wildfire detection performance in production environments.


Fig 6: LookOut Cam app repurposes an old smartphone as an image input to wildfire detection.

The ReportFires app, LookOut Wildfire Detection SaaS, and LookOut Cam app work together seamlessly to provide customers with an accurate, automatic, and affordable wildfire risk mitigation tool. It is an end-to-end digital and mobile-first solution.

Fig 7: ReportFires, LookOut Wildfire Detection SaaS, and LookOut Cam app provide customer an end-to-end mobile-forest solution to reduce wildfire risks and damages.

You can start with two internet-connected smartphones. It takes just a couple of minutes to set up a LookOut wildfire detection system to protect your communities.

Do you want to try it now?


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