Scoping Workshop: Internet of Things Infrastructure for Harsh Environments

One main challenge in performing data-driven research in-the-wild is deployment of efficient and effective sensing infrastructure to collect and analyse data in a sustainable way. Traditional data analytics approaches are designed to send all the data to the cloud for decision making; however, areas such as Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary (LKWS) and other protected areas in Sabah, network communication is very poor or not existent. Further, continuous data communication consumes a significant amount of energy which most of the edge nodes cannot afford. Therefore, traditional approaches are ineffective and unsustainable.

Our overall vision is to develop a sustainable Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure to augment the capabilities of bioscience researchers, wildlife officers, and law enforcement officers. Such IoT infrastructure will help them to conduct their work more efficiently and effectively in the LKWS. Danau Girang Field Centre in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, is a research and training facility co-managed by Sabah Wildlife Department and Cardiff University. Some of the challenges (not a complete list) we aim to address are automatizing remote camera trapping and surveying, environmental data recording, poaching alert devices, tracking devices for antipoaching intelligence gathering. Currently, there isn’t any IoT infrastructure deployed in this area.

We conducted a two full-day workshop to explore and identify research challenges that could potentially be addressed using the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. During this workshop, we identified two major areas to focus on: (1) Sensing Infrastructure, and (2) Data Science. Additionally, we also discussed citizen engagement research, where we could work with local schools and universities to share our technical expertise with the local community. In the long term, such activities will help local communities to develop technologies to solve their own problems.

A map the region of the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary

Differnt traps that targets differnt animals

At Cardiff University: From left to right: Jack Burkett (Cardiff University-COMSC), Omer Rana (Cardiff University-COMSC), Richard Wenner (The Things Network), Sergio Guerrero Sanchez (DGFC), Elisa Panjang (DGFC), Tommy Rowel (DGFC), Charith Perera (Cardiff University-COMSC) [Not in the Photo: Pablo Orozco Ter Wengel (Cardiff University-BIOSI), Penny Gardner (DGFC), Sharadha Kariyawasam (VortexIoT), Emad Aliwa (Cardiff University-COMSC)]

At DGFC: From left to right: Charith Perera (Cardiff University-COMSC), Tommy Rowel (DGFC), Vanpé Cécile (ONCFS-France), Grente Oksana (ONCFS-France), Elisa Panjang (DGFC) [Not in the Photo: Benoit Goossens (DGFC)]

Internet of Things for Efficient Wildlife Conservation: Challenges and Opportunities

GCRF Facilitation Grant Report. 2019

Charith Perera, Omer Rana, Benoît Goossens, Pablo Orozco-ter Wengel