Big Tree Animal Sanctuary and Adoption Center (hereafter Big Tree) is a charity organization in Hong Kong. The center is located in a remote rural area surrounded by hills and trees. It is facing high wildfire risks, especially in April and October. Big Tree uses 5G and RoboticsCats AI-Cloud SaaS to early detect wildfire and mitigates wildfire risks to the center and the animals living in it.
Big Tree’s missions are to protect abandoned animals, to provide them shelters and caretaking, and to advocate animal rights. They operate one of the largest animal sanctuaries in the city. More than 180 dogs and cats are living in the center.
The center is located in Kam Tin, a rural area in the New Territories, Hong Kong. The nearby area is one of the most wildfire risky locations in Hong Kong. In the late evening of Sunday, 25 October 2020, a wildfire ignited a day ago was spreading out and the fire front was just tens of meters away from the center! Big Tree was under the threat of burning into ashes!
Nearly 300 people heeded an online call for volunteers and rushed to rescue the animals in Big Tree! It was lucky that all animals were safe during the evacuation. That said, some animals suffered from incontinence and vomiting due to the heavy smoke.
Big Tree cannot rely on luck to respond to future incidents similar to what happened last October. After in-depth discussions, we understood their needs and constraints, and we proposed to Big Tree a customized RoboticsCats AI-Cloud solution to help them to early detect nearby wildfires. It is an easy-to-use software-as-a-service and they don’t need additional manpower to operate it.
Our proposal will use two network cameras to send 4K and HD videos to our AI-Cloud to detect wildfire smoke in the video images. If AI-Cloud detects wildfires, it will send alerts and smoke images to Big Tree staff. All they need is the ReportFires mobile app. They can take timely and informed action to save the animals when there is a wildfire near the center!
Unfortunately, Big Tree doesn’t have the budget to deploy our solution. Big Tree is a non-profit and relies on public donations to fund its operation. The center is not accessible, and it lacks common facilities. There is no landline broadband Internet service. Technology is neither available nor affordable to protect Big Tree from wildfires.
Fortunately, there is the Subsidy Scheme for Encouraging Early Deployment of 5G (the Scheme) launched by the Office of the Communication Authority (OFCA) of the Hong Kong government. There are good 5G services in the area of Big Tree. Big Tree applied for the Scheme to use 5G and our AI-Cloud solution. Their application was approved! They get subsidy to use latest 5G and AI technologies to mitigate wildfire risks.
Besides OFCA, special thanks are given to AXIS Communications, Netgear, Smartone Communications, and Armada International for their supports and suggestions! It is a team effort to provide the best and most affordable solution to Big Tree. It is a joyful project. The cats and dogs were very friendly and happy the day we installed the new system. Yes, we felt their joys!
“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2 ESV