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AI-Powered Shark Tracking Drones to hit the shores of Australia

The uncontrolled excitement in drones has made people believe that these gadgets are just some sort of toys to play with. But guess what, drones are proving to be the best thing that ever happened in the research world. A few days ago we published an article about drones flying to space for research. We also did another article about drones that are being used to track and spot tornados and hurricanes.

Well today, we’ve got another super use that scientists are using drones for. Mind you this came as a surprise to everyone. Have you ever pictured a drone that can be used to track ocean animals from hundreds of miles away from the shore?

Well, Australia is about to do the unbelievable.  Instead of sending officers to patrol the beaches so as to safeguard the people from shark attacks, the country has signed a deal that will oversee the deployment of tens of AI-powered drones to survey the seas for oncoming sharks.

As Reuters reported, the drones are equipped with Artificial Intelligence software that enables them to differentiate sharks from other types of fish and water vessels. This comes as a phenomenal breakthrough in AI technology which by now is proving to be way more efficient than human based operations.

Nabin Sharma, who happens to be an associate in this research from the school of Software engineering at Sydney’s University of Technology, explained to Reuters that the drones’ systems are precise in shark detection and will greatly improve the effectiveness of aerial shark monitoring activities. Nabin pointed out that Human surveys are only able to reach a detection accuracy of 20-30% when it comes to sharks and other sea animals.

However, the drones have been proved to reach a detection accuracy of up to 90% when all factors inclusive of weather conditions are put into consideration. This is actually a very simple solution to a problem that has been costing the Australian government thousands of dollars: Mainly in maintaining helicopter and manned vessels surveys to keep beach users safe.

Image Courtesy of Pixnio

Peter Mukaka