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Object Recognition Detection Device for Environmental Monitoring.

Alternative title: Objekt Gjenkjennings Detektor for Miljøovervåkning.

Awarded: NOK 0.11 mill.

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Project Period:

2021 - 2022

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Through several years the ocean has been treated as a garbage dump. Today, millions of different waste types release chemicals that pollute the seabed. There is more focus on which different waste types release different chemicals that pollute and is consumed by sea life in return reducing its quality and value. Attempts to identify and remove toxic waste materials from the seabed are met with operational challenges like difficulty to access certain areas, high operational costs and increased risk factors. The limitations are mainly due to the lack of adequate data on the seabed that can be used for planning clean-up operations and the methods used for removing pollutants. Seas eCO AS’ has proposed their smart Object Recognition Device (ORD) vision technology. It carries an advanced vision 3D camera technology with high-speed operational capabilities. The technology is a piece of more reliable equipment with a process method that covers details of geographical subsea regions harbours and coasts. It will potentially increase the rate in the collection of data, providing adequate information for industries within aquaculture, subsea, energy and recycling companies. Additionally, operational cost and risk factors associated with existing methods would drastically reduce. Consequently, it will increase the removal of waste and reduce the risk of pollution that will in return quantify the recycling value for companies. The ORD tool is based on biomimicry technology which comprises an autonomous artificial intelligent electric ROV with object recognition detection. The use of this technology to support clean-up procedures on the seabed will help to restore aquatic ecosystems. The mission to protect the environment’ existing aquatic ecosystems gives new generations knowledge about the critical future consequences of toxic pollution on the seabed. This research is being conducted in collaboration with the University of Stavanger.

Over the years, there have been several attempts to identify and remove toxic waste materials from the seabed. These attempts have been met with varying operational challenges among other things, the volume of waste and safety due to inadequate data. This project seeks to research an invention by Seas Eco AS, that will potentially provide enough data to meet the needs of different stakeholders. The research will support the development of a technology to improve data collection on toxic waste materials from the seabed. It has advantages of potentially being safer, faster, and cheaper to operate than the traditional data collection methods such as the beach monitoring, floating litter booms and nets, visual ship-based, benthic trawling, scuba diving-base (shallow waters <20m), towed video camera and submersibles or remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) methods. It is hoped that the data would be more accurate than the current methods. The invention involves the use of an object recognition device and an electric-operated underwater vehicle that will gather and process subsea information, including volume, depth, current measurements and aquatic life. The data can be used to further analyse and predict toxins and their extent of spread from a contaminated area. Research and development challenges are with the scientific knowledge behind the technology. This will, however, be resolved with our collaboration with the University of Stavanger (UiS) due to the knowledge base and resources available at the Institution. The Department of Chemistry, Bioscience and Environmental Engineering has worked on various aspects of environmental protection and monitoring for many years. Thus giving Seas Eco AS the opportunity to harness the information needed to conduct the research. and subsequently, develop a State-of-the-Art technology.

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