Counting trees, locating illegal dumping areas, learn how artificial intelligence supports saving the world and meet Ewa Guard
Every year Earth loses 18.7 million acres of forests — that’s 27 soccer fields per minute (link to the source). In addition, pollution is ruining our environment. The Polish State Forests pay PLN 20 million annually for cleaning up garbage abandoned illegally in forest areas (link to sources, in Polish). It seems that in 2020, rubbish in the forest is, unfortunately, becoming a real plague.
Such alarming data has mobilized scientists from byteLAKE, Lenovo USA, and Resq foundation to join forces and leverage some of the latest technologies to address humanity’s greatest challenges. One result of this cooperation is a product called EWA Guard (Earth Water Air Guard).
Ewa Guard uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze high definition (4K+) photos and videos and locate illegal garbage dumps. In addition, the system uses the so-called Edge AI technology, which places AI algorithms directly on the devices, in this case, drones. Such a solution allows us to analyze data in real-time and eliminates the time-consuming process of sending huge amounts of data to computers or servers where they are further processed. In the case of Ewa Guard, the system detects illegal dumps and immediately informs the operator about their locations.
Ewa Guard has been designed in such a way that it is easy to re-train it for new skills. For example, it is also used in forestry, where it helps to automate the tedious and time-consuming work related to reforestation.
Traditionally, trees are counted manually and the goal is to identify areas where tree survival is relatively low. Ewa Guard helps automate such process by analyzing the aerial photos and eventually reports the number of young trees per area.
See Ewa Guard in action: finding illegally dumped tires.
We presented the solution in 2019 at the Supercomputing conference in Denver, Colorado, USA:
Ewa Guard is a solution that leverages artificial intelligence to automatically analyze photos and video materials to e.g. count young trees, locate illegal garbage dumps, etc.
EwaGuard.com will be launched soon as part of the planned “Clean up the World” campaign. You will be able to share photos and videos there, and Ewa Guard will organize social campaigns and connect people who want to work together for the good cause of Clean Planet.