Autonomous Marine Robot Based on AI Recognition for Permanent Surveillance in Marine Protected Areas

J. Carlos Molina-Molina, Marouane Salhaoui, Antonio Guerrero-González, Mounir Arioua
2021 Sensors  
The world's oceans are one of the most valuable sources of biodiversity and resources on the planet, although there are areas where the marine ecosystem is threatened by human activities. Marine protected areas (MPAs) are distinctive spaces protected by law due to their unique characteristics, such as being the habitat of endangered marine species. Even with this protection, there are still illegal activities such as poaching or anchoring that threaten the survival of different marine species.
more » ... n this context, we propose an autonomous surface vehicle (ASV) model system for the surveillance of marine areas by detecting and recognizing vessels through artificial intelligence (AI)-based image recognition services, in search of those carrying out illegal activities. Cloud and edge AI computing technologies were used for computer vision. These technologies have proven to be accurate and reliable in detecting shapes and objects for which they have been trained. Azure edge and cloud vision services offer the best option in terms of accuracy for this task. Due to the lack of 4G and 5G coverage in offshore marine environments, it is necessary to use radio links with a coastal base station to ensure communications, which may result in a high response time due to the high latency involved. The analysis of on-board images may not be sufficiently accurate; therefore, we proposed a smart algorithm for autonomy optimization by selecting the proper AI technology according to the current scenario (SAAO) capable of selecting the best AI source for the current scenario in real time, according to the required recognition accuracy or low latency. The SAAO optimizes the execution, efficiency, risk reduction, and results of each stage of the surveillance mission, taking appropriate decisions by selecting either cloud or edge vision models without human intervention.
doi:10.3390/s21082664 pmid:33920075 pmcid:PMC8070409 fatcat:unm6wf5nkzfhrfpgwxzvcdg3pm