2021 was a very productive year for us here. So we thought it was time for a recap of our products and an overview of what the products can do for you. Today we focus on our Thermal Camera.
There are some really good comparisons between NZ’s Covid-19 response and its predator elimination strategy. Most of the world has no chance of a successful Covid-19 elimination and hence are using methods for Covid-19 suppression. For Covid, NZ was applying an elimination strategy that acknowledges there will still be cases but they can be controlled. With predators, NZ has great success with elimination on islands and in fenced sanctuaries. There are now numerous projects attempting elimination on the mainland. An analogy with Covid is useful as it helps understand the key tools needed for an elimination strategy.
Great to see Predator Free 2050 Ltd investing in bringing innovation to the market: https://pf2050.co.nz/news/kiwi-ingenuity-developing-world-leading-predat...
New software updates to our online portal and our Sidekick app.
One of our customers has had our thermal camera in front of a tree based possum and rat trap for three weeks in the hope of seeing how well it performed. In this case the trap was the AT220 from NZ auto traps.
The Cacophony Project exists to put better tools in the hands of everyone engaged in the battle to make Aotearoa Predator Free. So when we hear DOC's Program Manager for Predator Free 2050 excited about our tools having the possibility to "really change the game", it helps confirm our belief that we're on the right journey.
Once an area has been cleared of predators, how can we defend it? The traditional answer has been static fences. Today we introduce a new concept - making those fences active.
A group from Auckland University has been training AI models using our thermal video library.
In the area of monitoring, we suspect that Cacophony’s thermal cameras have the potential to deliver three keys benefits:
- A substantial reduction in the effort required to monitor a reserve
- A substantial increase in the amount of data produced from monitoring efforts
- A substantial increase in the quality of data produced from monitoring efforts
Earlier in the year we were asked if we could expand the machine vision used with our thermal camera to automatically detect wallabies with the goal of monitoring and controlling the wallaby population.
If you're a regular reader of our blog, it might be easy to get the impression that we are randomly trying lots of things. The reality of life on the project is somewhat different - there is a targeted structure to what we are doing. This post gives a summary of that strategy. To bring back the Cacophony of native fauna in NZ there are a number of separate parts of the puzzle that we are trying to solve. What follows is a summary of each sub-goal as we see it along with an indication of where we are up to with our progress.
Our previous blogs have highlighted how most predators in well trapped areas just walk past existing traps. This blog shows our first attempt at a device designed to trap hard to trap predators or re-invading predators. At the moment the competition for this sort of application is pretty much manual hunting or very intense trapping and baiting (which often never gets to zero).
In recent blog posts we have gone into detail on different trapping strategies. We chose to do this because we are convinced that many approaches that may seem intuitively to be great strategies won’t actually make much of a difference to the elimination of predators. Our camera experiments have shown consistently and across a number of different environments that, for an area that has been trapped for a while, there is a persistent population that avoids existing traps. Today we introduce a collection of approaches and ideas that we believe can actually improve the predator interaction rate and give us a real chance of achieving our predator-free goals.
Today we tackle the question of the kill rate of existing traps. The arsenal of traps available to trappers includes some well-designed, field-tested, and hardy workhorses. And yet we know that even the most skillful deployment of these in the field only delivers a level of suppression, not the total elimination we strive for. Today we discuss why that might be.
The previous blog posts showed how a simple model can help understand typical predator elimination methods. It makes intuitive sense that long life lure or automatic dispensing lures will help with trapping. In this blog we discuss the impact of automatic lures and long life lures for their potential to achieve total predator elimination.
Today we return to our core subject of eliminating predators. If you're keen to follow our work on the fever screening device (which is now on the market), we have now launched a new website with its own blog: http://www.tekahuora.com. All future updates on the device will appear there.So, back to dealing with predators. In some previous blog posts, we showed how a simple model can help understand typical trapping and poisoning methods.
As you may have noted from our recent blog entries life is getting busy for us here at The Cacophony Project. And you know we love building solutions right? So, we've been building really quite a lot of software recently and we need some help making sure it makes it out of the door in the highest quality possible.
Regular readers of this blog will have noted our recent pivot in focus. Our team are busy working on our thermal screening device and the devices are already out at Beta testing sites helping employers keep their staff safe. We're pleased to share how the media have been taking notice of our efforts. And a look ahead to how we see our solution fitting in with some of the innovations that are being designed to help keep New Zealand safe from further outbreaks.