Resolve, a non-profit organization dedicated to conservation and preservation of the environment, has developed a new AI-equipped smart camera system that makes use of Intel’s vision chips in order to automatically pick up humans and animals who wander into protected areas.
The system, called TrailGuard AI, is meant to combat poaching, which has been a huge problem in Africa for decades now. According to Resolve, the population of African elephants has been down from about 2 million to just 100,000, mainly due to excessive poaching. At this rate, the organization is estimating that the species will die out in the next few decades if poaching continues. Resolve hopes that by implementing this new smart system, rangers will be able to safeguard protected areas more efficiently.
Although this isn’t the first time that Resolve developed remote cameras to aid in their conservation efforts, this is the by far the smallest and most long-lasting in terms of battery life, and most reliable. Earlier devices were bulky, limited in battery life, and quite unreliable, as the cameras used to be triggered even by shaking tree branches. The new device, however, makes use of Intel’s Movidius Myriad 2 VPU, the same technology in Google’s automatic motion-sensing Clips camera.
Director of biodiversity and wildlife solutions at Resolve, Eric Dinerstein, says that the smart cameras are like intelligent sentinels. In a press statement, he says, “AI-driven smart cameras will help park rangers identify poachers and stop them before they can kill.”
Resolve will be deploying the Trailguard AI in roughly 100 reserves and national parks all around Africa, in partnership with the National Geographic Society and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, starting with Serengeti and Garamba.