DoCoMo applies image recognition AI to pest control

docomo AI pest control
Image credit: Phuong D. Nguyen / Shutterstock.com

NTT DoCoMo announced that it plans to commence trials of a new greenhouse pest monitoring device which uses an ultra low-power battery operated wireless HD camera in conjunction with image recognition functionality based on DoCoMo’s AI technology.

During the trial, which will take place from now to March 2019, photos will be taken of pests captured by traps set up in greenhouses to help improve the image recognition accuracy of the device. The company aims to develop a solution which will enable farmers and officials from the agriculture sector to carry out remote monitoring of greenhouse environments, which will improve efficiency and help stabilize yields.

New technology is required allowing IoT devices such as fixed point cameras to run for sustained periods of time on very low currents, because of the difficulty in securing stable power sources in farming environments and various other locations.

To address this need, NTT DoCoMo Ventures has made a strategic investment in Locix, a Silicon Valley start-up developer of ultra low-power wireless sensor networking and high-precision local positioning wireless technology. The Locix platform uniquely captures the spatial, visual and sensor data essential for the digitization of the physical world.

The visual sensor solution provided by Locix comprises an HD camera, a network switch and a Locix cloud API. It uses 920-MHz radio communications and ultra low-power wireless sensor networking technology that allows the cameras to be run and image data to be transferred via the switches for up to several years (assuming that photos are taken once an hour) using battery power alone.

The solution could also allow the addition of other services through the interconnection of Locix cloud API with other systems, including DoCoMo systems.

Going forward, DoCoMo plans to digitize the information collected by remote devices in farming environments and deploy the Locix visual sensor solution in other sectors beyond agriculture, such as warehousing, merchandising and the security industry.

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