15206: Aquila 2ND Generation – Using artificial intelligence to detect Rubber Vine.

    Rubber Vine (Cryptostegia grandiflora) is a Weed of National Significance and is found in Western Australia. The current infestation in the West Kimberley has been reduced by more than 99% but the remaining plants are distributed over a large area of 26,500ha.   It is essential to monitor such a large area annually and is usually done using expensive helicopters. Aquila 2ND Generation is a development of the highly successful Aquila Project. Aquila engaged over 200 internet volunteers searching for Rubber Vine in images over the Internet. See and   Aquila 2ND Generation will replace human observers in helicopters and reduce helicopter hours, providing a saving of approximately $50,000 annually. It will provide both operational and financial benefits to other programs.

    Aquila, using a 12-megapixel camera was highly successful. The addition of a 29-megapixel commercial camera will make the feature detection software, which is part of the existing Aquila methodology, more accurate. It will also make the search by Internet volunteers much easier. Decision-making about the presence of absence of vines in the images will be more accurate with a higher detection rate and greater cost saving searching for false positives.  Aquila 2ND Generation will add Neural Network or artificial intelligence to the software, resulting in greater accuracy of classification of images. Currently the software eliminates 96% of the images.  Adding an artificial intelligence component to the software will reduce this further, resulting in fewer images needed to be presented to volunteers, meaning fewer images can be searched multiple times by Internet searchers for more accurate results.

    The addition of artificial intelligence and the new higher resolution camera will result in Aquila 2ND Generation being a more accurate and efficient monitoring tool in the eradication program and reduce costs considerably.

    Investment: $ 38 375
    In-kind contribution: $ 75 500
    Delivery organisation: West Kimberley Rubber Vine Steering Committee
    Project duration: January 2016 - May 2017
    Location: Shire of Derby-West Kimberley
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