Fujitsu ‘Digital Owl’ project trials drones and video analytics to identify threatened plant species

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Click to watch the video of Fujitsu’s Digital Owl initiative.

When our Sustainability consultants engage with a customer one of the questions they ask is ‘where does your main source of emissions come from?’ Surprisigly when working with a NSW Government Department, the answer was ‘Helicopter Jet Fuel’. This discussion led to a ‘co-creation’ project that has resulted in an innovative approach to identifying threatened species of plants in NSW bushland.

Fujitsu recently completed a successful trial to identify threatened plant species in New South Wales. Working with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) ‘Saving our Species’ program, the ‘Digital Owl’ project uses Fujitsu’s high-performance computing, video analytics and drone technology to capture and analyse video information over a broad geographic area.

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The information can then be used to help locate endangered species for management, and invasive plant species for eradication purposes. The project was successfully trialed recently in remote bushland at Mount Dangar, NSW. The trial resulted in successful identification of the endangered plant species, Acacia dangarensis and Senecio linearifolius var. dangarensis, both of which are feared to be facing extinction, but were found growing in the wild.

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Senecio linearifolius var dangarensis – one of the threatened plant species that was successfully identified during the trial. (Photo credit: Lucas Grenadier)

In NSW alone there are approximately 1,000 plant and animal species under threat of extinction. Saving these species is crucial to the ongoing health of the various ecosystems in NSW. However, monitoring such a broad area can be prohibitively expensive, especially when considering the cost of chartering and fueling helicopters.

Drone technology with detailed layers of analytics behind them enables the collection of more accurate information including maps of otherwise inaccessible areas.

This project is aligned with Fujitsu’s vision of using technology to help provide sustainable outcomes for our customers and society.

Through an internally funded Co-creation project, Fujitsu identified the opportunity to apply advanced drone technology, combined with video analytics and spatial mapping technologies, to reduce the cost of monitoring and make the identification process more efficient.

This solution has the potential to improve the efficiency of identifying and locating particular plant species, which often requires exploring vast forest areas by helicopter. Use of the drone provides a significant saving in the cost of helicopter charter and fuel as well as a reduction in emissions.

Additionally, artificial intelligence (AI) technology is currently being trained to help identify species through video analysis. Fujitsu will continue to refine the technology by surveying the area at different altitudes to capture a richer base of data. Stage two of the project will employ SpatiOWL, Fujitsu’s big data enabled geospatial computing platform, to further enhance species geolocation. Fujitsu is exploring the application of this technology for a wide range of related purposes in Australia and New Zealand.

The technology can potentially be applied to identifying and locating outbreaks of noxious weeds in conservation areas and also identification of endangered birds and animals.

Fujitsu has commissioned a video overview of the initiative at the following link: Digital Owl video

Fujitsu has been nominated for the Banksia Sustainability Awards 2017

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Fujitsu is proud to announce that the Australian #SMARTer2030 report has been nominated as a finalist in the Banksia Sustainability Awards for 2017. The awards are the longest running and most prestigious of Australia’s sustainability awards.

Written in partnership with Telstra, the #SMARTer2030 report has received accolades since its release late last year and is a nominee for the Banksia ‘Communication for Change Award’. This award recognises leadership and achievement in raising awareness and understanding of sustainability issues as well as promoting tangible change in values and behaviour that support a greater uptake of sustainable practices.

The report examines the 2015 Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), SMARTer2030: ICT Solutions for 21st Century Challenges and puts these global opportunities into the Australian context. Our report reveals that if the technologies modelled were fully adopted, that ICT can potentially support the Australian Government to surpass its carbon reduction target.

The report features a range of case studies across a variety of industries that demonstrate how Fujitsu and Telstra are using a range of technologies to help customers to achieve business and environmental benefits.

Some of the key findings of the SMARTer2030 report include:

  • ICT provides significant environmental benefits such as increasing agricultural crop yields while reducing water and petrol use;
  • eWork can free up $AUD11.8 billion in capital expenditure through the reduced need for infrastructure;
  • eHealth can support 7 million people a year to engage with health practitioners remotely, in real time and on-demand

For more information and to download the report at the following link:

http://www.fujitsu.com/au/solutions/business-technology/sustainability-consulting/thought-leadership/smarter2030/index.html

Fujitsu wearables ensure the Belgian Solar Team’s well-being during Bridgestone World Solar Challenge

A team of Belgian University students will be looking to make history in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge as they compete with 41 teams from around the world on an epic race across Australia. Fujitsu wearable technology will be used to monitor real-time vital signs and optimal balance of performance and well-being for the team.

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The challenge began in Darwin on Sunday 8th October, on a 3000-kilometre transcontinental journey to Adelaide. Starting at Darwin’s Hidden Valley Racetrack, the course is associated with V8 supercars rather than clean, solar-powered vehicles, however the Belgian team ‘Punch Powertrain’ had pole position in a time of 2:03.8 with an average speed of 83.4km/hr.

Winning pole position provides benefits to the team including not having to use stored energy to accelerate to overtake slower competitors. Whilst Punch Powertrain have never won the World Solar Challenge, it appears the team stand a good chance this year after their strong start.

The Fujitsu UBIQUITOUSWARE wearable solutions will measure driver well-being, including temperature, providing live telemetry to support crew. The solution will help the Belgian team to optimize cockpit cooling and ensure driver health during the race. As competitors cross the Australian outback where temperatures can hit up to 38 degrees Celsius, drivers must strike the right balance between using energy for air conditioning to cool the cockpit, or to power the vehicle.

The Punch Powertrain team comprising of 21 students from the University of Leuven in Belgium have been testing the Fujitsu wearables in the weeks leading up to the race to monitor driver heart rates, drowsiness levels, temperature and level of heat stress while they are on the move.

According to Jasper Schrijvers, a Punch Powertrain driver, “Driver fitness plays a crucial role in the World Solar Challenge, as it’s important that the driver doesn’t overheat at the wheel. We are planning to achieve speeds of up to 90km/h with the same amount of power that you use for a hairdryer. The use of any cooling will only slow us down and could mean the difference between winning and losing.”

James Maynard, Offering Management Director, IoT & Innovation, Innovative IoT Business Unit at Fujitsu says, “Fujitsu’s wearable solutions have enabled the Belgian team to provide previously unavailable insights into driver well-being, to see more, act faster and predict instead of react. The team used data collected during their preparation to advise their drivers on the optimum balance between performance and safety during the race.”

The event will reveal futuristic-looking solar powered cars, showcasing design that could one day lead to solar-powered cars for consumers that can carry passengers. We look forward to seeing the end result as the drivers finish the race 3000km’s later on October 15th in Adelaide!