Team Aims To Use Raspberry Pi in Brown Bear Conservation Effort

(Image credit: BearID)

It takes a lot of work to monitor animal populations which is why many researchers are turning to technology to help ease the burden of this critical aspect of conservation. Ed Mill, a principle engineer working with Arm, helps lead a team of researchers that aim to help monitor and conserve brown bears. They’ve developed an AI-based system that can track these beautiful beasts called BearID and have plans to integrate Raspberry Pis into their setup.

The project specializes in setting up remote cameras in areas frequented by these roaming behemoths. In real-time, the systems they set up use machine learning to identify bear faces so they know for sure when one has been detected. This helps researchers monitor the bears safely at a distance without interfering with their natural migration.

According to BearID, the AI face algorithm detects the bears using their eyes and nose to build a triangle shape. It can also recognize them by taking their ears into account. Because brown bears have several characteristics that change through the seasons including their coat and weight, it helps to focus on unchanging features like these.

(Image credit: BearID)

The team recently shared details with Raspberry Pi via a blog post where they explain that much of BearID operates as a Microsoft Azure-based cloud service. In the field, they rely on Arm-based platforms. This is where the team hopes to implement Raspberry Pi 4 Model B in the future.

The BearID team shares their code with anyone who wants to check it out over at GitHub. There you’ll find all of the details about how it works and what tools they use. One of the primary systems they rely on is Dlib—a C++ toolkit full of useful machine-learning algorithms that help them to identify and track bears. You’ll find much of the code is Python-based.

If you want to read more about this project, visit their official website where you can not only get a behind-the-scenes look at how they operate but also find cool shots of bears in the wild. We also recommend perusing our list of best Raspberry Pi projects if you’re looking for more microelectronics creations to inspire.

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer with a wealth of experience in the hobby electronics, 3D printing and PCs. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting while also finding the best coupons and deals on all tech.