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

Highlights from the inaugural Fujitsu Australia Software Technology Hackathon

What happens when you put 50 technical geniuses in a room to collaborate and co-create? Idea generation, hours of innovation and prototype creation!

Last month the inaugural Fujitsu Australia Software Technology #cocreation hackathon kicked off with 50 staff participating in the two day workshop, led by Fujitsu’s Digital Co-creation Team and the FAST Hackathon coordinators who created a positive, collaborative ambience that encouraged informal brainstorming of ideas for new products.

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What exactly is a Hackathon? A hackathon is typically a two-day event (often including an overnight) during which participants form teams and collaborate to conceptualize and prototype new products or solutions. The “hack” portion of the event is usually followed by a “demo day,” when teams pitch their ideas and show off their prototypes to a team of judges and other hackathon participants.

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Vopak Australia realizes digital transformation possibilities after joining Fujitsu on the co-creation journey

Design Thinking is way of developing solutions to unique problems. It takes a step back from technology and helps people to come up with unique ideas and solutions that can help to deliver transformational outcomes.

The Fujitsu Digital Co-creation team recently facilitated a Design Thinking Workshop with Vopak Australia, subsidiary of Royal Vopak – a world leading Tank Storage company that operates a global network of terminals located at strategic locations across major trade routes.

The session hosted at Vopak’s Port Botany offices by Fujitsu’s Digital Co-creation Team enabled the Vopak team to brainstorm ideas for digital change and ultimately ‘Co-create’ – blending expertise and technology to create new value together. The team were challenged to think creatively, outside the square and really put themselves in the shoes of the customer to realise the changes that were needed.

“Working with Fujitsu allowed Vopak to identify new innovation opportunities by using a well-structured methodology, placing our customer’s needs at the core of the decision making process”, said Adonis Malas, Vopak Australia’s Automation & IT System Manager.

So what exactly is Design Thinking and how does it enable a ‘co-creation journey’?
The rapid advancement of technology introduces a new set of complex and challenging issues.
A Design Thinking Workshop is split into several exercises to gain a deep understanding of the challenges we’re facing.
1. Breaking down complex problems into solvable chunks
2. Identifying who our customers are, and their needs
3. Using this data to develop Proof of Concepts

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Fujitsu World Tour in Australia and New Zealand brings Co-creation to life

Australia and New Zealand are both a long way away from the rest of the world. Melbourne is about 8,000 km from Tokyo and around 16,000 km from Munich. Auckland is about 2,000 km further still. So when we get the opportunity in this region to experience the best thought leadership and technology from Fujitsu around the world we make the most of it.

First stop – Auckland New Zealand

And make the most of it we did. As Fujitsu World Tour 2017 touched down in Auckland on June 20th the results of many months of preparation started to pay off. Over two hundred people gathered at The Langham in Auckland to get a taste of what Fujitsu was all about. Even though the event has been running for many years, this year was the very first time that Fujitsu World Tour has been hosted in New Zealand.

From the time the doors opened early in the morning the Expo floor was a hive of activity, with a buzzing atmosphere and excitement rapidly increasing. ‘Digital Co-creation’ was the main theme of the event and this was clearly the focus of the expo. It was hard to miss the brightly decorated ‘Co-creation Station’, which was located right in the middle of the floor, manned by our Digital Co-creation specialists. The Lego blocks on display provided an excellent talking point for our consultants to describe Fujitsu’s various co-creation initiatives and techniques to foster digital innovation.

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Pictured: Co-creation station

Also on display for the first time were a number of innovative displays including Fujitsu’s ‘Smart Shoes Hub’, the Head-mounted Display, and a fascinating display of Spatiowl modelling traffic flow information. Fujitsu’s Palm Secure was also a big hit in New Zealand, with the expo showing different use cases of this great technology including a ‘Smart Gate’, time and attendance recording, locker opening and a host of other applications. It was not just the conference attendees who were impressed, a news crew from NZ TV3 seized the opportunity to capture a two minute article to be aired on prime time television.

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Pictured: Smart Shoes

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Clip from TV3 News

The activity was not just concentrated on the expo floor. Well-known New Zealand media personality Samantha Hayes provided the opening address and took the role of the Master of Ceremonies throughout the day. The agenda was packed with Fujitsu’s international thought leaders including Ramanan Ramakrishna and Yoshikuni Takashige who shared their insight to an engaged audience in the packed auditorium. After providing his insight into Human Centric Innovation, Takashige-san also provided a 15 minute video interview with Fairfax New Zealand on the subject of Human Centric Innovation.

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Pictured: Samantha Hayes – MC at Fujitsu World Tour Auckland

As well as Fujitsu’s international personalities, we were also proud to host one of our international customers. Steve Walker from DHL presented a riveting account of his company’s digital transformation journey. He talked about many initiatives DHL has put in place including technology to reduce driver fatigue as well as the use of augmented reality to assist with warehouse operations. A panel discussion consisting of Fujitsu local and international representatives and customers also provided different viewpoints on digital transformation.

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Steve Walker from DHL

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Ramanan Ramakrishna

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Takashige-San

Next Stop Melbourne…

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After a busy day in Auckland, it was time to replicate it all again in Melbourne for a much bigger event and a larger audience. Over 500 people packed into the Crown Promenade for an even bigger expo and conference agenda than Auckland. This marked the second time that Fujitsu World Tour was hosted in Melbourne, the last time was two years ago in 2015. The event opened with an address by the Hon. Philip Dalidakis, MP – Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, who spoke about a number of issues including the ethics around the application of artificial intelligence (AI). Media personality and well-known journalist Ellen Fanning kept the audience engaged as Master of Ceremonies.

The expo floor in Melbourne had a real buzz about it as people took time out from the conference agenda to bring themselves up to speed with all that Fujitsu can offer. Once again Palm Secure attracted a lot of attention – aided by the special ‘experiential’ displays that showcased how various technologies could be used in Education, Healthcare and Retail applications.

The digital media display also kept people talking, with an innovative face recognition system that would detect the age, gender and mood of the audience in front of the screen so that relevant content could be displayed. And once again the Fujitsu innovations area captivated the audience with the display of the ‘Smart Shoes Hub’ and the ‘Head-mounted display’. Once again the event attracted interest from a television news station, with a crew from Channel Nine News taking the time to capture the moment.

As with Auckland, Takashige-san delivered the final keynote and left the audience thinking about what the future of technology will look like. After two very busy days it was time for Fujitsu World Tour to leave the Oceania Region as it continues its journey across the world.

Fujitsu World Tour 2017

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The preparation for the annual Fujitsu World Tour is heating up with this year’s event taking place in Auckland and Melbourne. This event is a global initiative that showcases Fujitsu’s innovative technology, services and solutions.

The theme this year is “Human Centric Innovation: Digital Co-creation. “Co-creation” is about bringing together previously unconnected fields of expertise to realise innovation and value creation at scale. This is central to Fujitsu’s partnership approach with its customers, partners and suppliers and becomes ever more critical in a digital world. It is for this reason that we are proud to announce Intel as the official event partner for Fujitsu World Tour globally. Further to this, we are also pleased to have our valued partners Microsoft, NetApp, Brocade and Schneider Electric also supporting this year’s event and providing further insight into co-creation and how human centric innovation is central to creating business value.

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Pictured: Palm-Secure technology is one of many innovative technologies that were showcased at Fujitsu World Tour in Sydney 2016.

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