Project update - Sep 1 2017

It's been a busy week for the Cacophony Project, with good progress on many fronts.

Project Manager

As noted earlier, the project now has a new lead developer & project manager (me!) and I've spent much of the week getting up to speed. I've been reviewing the current state of our hardware and software efforts, meeting various advisors and contributors, and getting a grasp of our immediate and longer term goals. It's been fantastic to meet everyone and I'm really excited to be onboard. There's a real energy around the project.

Video Classification

We had a good session with our machine learning advisor, Brent Martin, to discuss our approach to classifying animals that show up in our thermal video footage. A number of strategies were discussed and it seems like that characterising animal movement is going to play a critical role in our classification strategy. 

Thermal Camera Stability

Video classification of course requires good quality data to work from and one thing we've been battling with this week is getting reliable footage out of the FLIR Lepton 3 cameras we're using. We can getting video frames out the camera but frequently lose sync which results in corrupt frames. This seems to be a common issue. We haven't exhausted our options yet and are confident that we'll get the camera working soon. 

Splitting Up the Web Server

We made the decision this week to split up the project's web server this week into a separate components. Instead of one monolithic application, it'll be split into three parts: API server, web user interface & media processing. This should make the code easier to approach for potential contributors, and should also make deployment testing easier.


There's been good progress with our Android-based birdsong capture application (the Cacophonometer). The current focus is reducing the power used by the application and the phone generally. Efforts have also begun around using machine learning to identify the specific bird calls in the recordings. This will allow us know which bird species were recorded and also facilitate more accurate estimates of bird population numbers.

Taiga Board Updated

Finally, we've spent time this week getting our Taiga board up to date. We'll be actively using this for planning and to track progress so if you're interested in following what we're up to, that's a good place to look. We've also got a number of projects listed there with which we could use help and more will be added soon. Watch this space for more ideas on how your can contribute.