Fight against illegal wildlife trade just got a bit easier with new online support

Instant Detect Nominet

Nominet, the UK’s official registry for domain names, is helping the fight to protect endangered animals from the illegal wildlife trade by making its Internet of Things Tools open source. These are now being used by  international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London) in its ongoing fight against illegal wildlife trade by preventing and detecting criminal activity.

Nominet, which has its headquarters at the Oxford Science Park, has conducted significant research and development in the last several years in the areas of Internet of Things (IoT) and Autonomous Vehicles. A key enabler of its research has been Nominet’s internally-developed IoT data collection, analysis and insight platform – IoT Tools.

The first major users of the now open source IoT Tools are ZSL who are further integrating it into the Instant Detect product. The tools enable ZSL to capture and analyse data from their remote camera and sensor systems in the field. The latest features include integration with automated image detection and classification AI to help ZSL further identify potential criminal activity.

Instant Detect is a wildlife, environment and threat monitoring system designed for the world’s most demanding, remote and unconnected landscapes. The system combines rugged cameras and sensors into a low-power radio network to monitor wildlife and detect human activity. The captured data is then transmitted in near real-time using satellite connectivity to Nominet’s IoT Tools platform on the cloud. This allows conservationists to gather data from hard to reach areas so they can monitor wildlife behaviour and changes to their remote habitats, as well as tackle the poaching of threatened species by providing an early warning system of illegal activity.

Adam Leach, SVP of Corporate Strategy at Nominet said: “We’re delighted to announce that IoT Tools is now available as an open source project for the wider tech community to adopt, contribute and take forward.  The tools have been developed with experience of working on tangible in-the-field IoT projects, like Instant Detect with ZSL, which have strong geo-location requirements to them. These projects started with the Oxford Flood Network, then smart city applications such as smart parking and through to the recently completed and ground-breaking autonomous vehicle DRIVEN project. By making our work available to all, we hope to encourage a number of varied projects that will showcase the potential of IoT.”

Sam Seccombe, ZSL, added: “ZSL has enjoyed a great partnership with Nominet since 2016 working together to develop Nominet’s IoT Tools to be used with Instant Detect 2.0 and we are extremely grateful for this support. This powerful cloud-based user interface makes understanding and analysing the images and data sent from the Instant Detect system quick and easy, which makes our wildlife monitoring and threat detection abilities much more efficient and thereby increases conservation impact. By open sourcing Nominet’s IoT Tools the whole conservation community will be able to benefit from the platform and the insights that combining and analysing all these possible conservation data streams together might bring are likely to be enormous. Thank you Nominet.”

Nominet’s IoT Tools is available under Apache 2.0 license and you can find the code and more documentation about it here: https://bitbucket.org/nominetpublic/iot-tools/src/master/