Artificial Intelligence (AI) recognizes plastic waste in drone photos

A group of universities and startups in Japan have tested the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to recognize plastic waste in drone photos.

Find plastic waste in drone photos with AI

A group of six startups working on artificial intelligence and drones teamed up with the University of the Ryukyus and Nagasaki University to test if AI can identify plastic waste in drone photos taken on the coast of Tsushima City, Nagasaki Prefecture in southwestern Japan on Friday.

The tests are part of a project promoted by the Nippon Foundation to address marine pollution, reports NHK World – Japan.

During the test, a drone would fly about 600 feet along the coastline at an altitude of about 60 feet. The aerial photos were sent toTokyo to be analyzed by the AI to distinguish between different types of trash such as styrofoam, fishing buoys, plastic bottles, and driftwood. The various types of waste would then be color-coded.

According to the team of researchers, the tests prove that AI can accurately identify various types of garbage with a level of accuracy as well as calculate the total volume of plastic that was scattered along the coastline in a short period of time.

The drones in combination with AI can scan an area of about one square kilometer and identify plastic waste in about one hour.

According to team lead, Inoue Shosuke, combining AI and drones allows them to efficiently collect plastic waste in coastal areas and maybe recycle that garbage in the future.

You can read more articles about drones used for good here.

The photo above is from Jordan Simons and shows a polluted beach in Bali.

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Haye Kesteloo

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