[squeak-dev] Re: [Pharo-dev] Autonomous Shark-Monitoring Drone

Serge Stinckwich serge.stinckwich at gmail.com
Thu Oct 15 08:06:21 UTC 2015

On Wed, Oct 7, 2015 at 5:54 PM, Eliot Miranda <eliot.miranda at gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Hi Eliot,

>     as you may know, Sharks, as apex predators, are vital to maintaining
> healthy marine ecosystems, and at the same time, their populations are
> plummeting due to human actions.  It is estimated for example that the
> population of pelagic oceanic white tip sharks is reducing by 17% per year
> [1] and I've heard (can't find a reference) that populations in the eastern
> indian/western pacific are at 1% of normal levels.  Such reductions in
> populations create "trophic cascades" that produce wide-ranging changes in
> populations of different species all the way down the food chain [2].  And
> the marine ecosystem is a key source of human nutrition; it comprises
> between 13% and 17% of global human protein intake [3].

Recently, I talk with some people from my research institute who are working
on Shark behavior modeling in the CHARC program :
Sorry this is in French only

They use acoustic marks on sharks in order to locate them thanks to a
surveillance network.
The idea is not only to manage the risks regarding sharks but also to
use them to have information about ocean's environment parameters.
I start to discuss a little bit with them in order to model sharks behavior.

>   As you may also know, there is currently a shark attack crisis in New
> South Wales [4].  While most people in the region oppose killing sharks in
> response to the crisis, existing solutions, netting and culling reduce those
> same threatened populations of sharks upon which the sustainability of
> marine food supply d ecosystems depend [5], and are arguably ineffective
> [6].  Apparently the most successful approach at avoiding attacks is the use
> of human spotters, as used in Cape Town, where people in tall towers scan
> the sea close to shore [6].
>   But please watch this Youtube video [7] from Pismo Beach, California.  The
> shark is spotted at about 1:20 into the video.  This drone, a phantom 3, is
> sending live video back to the operators, who are using remote control.
> What we can see from this video is that the point of view of drones is far
> superior to that of spotters.
>   My first thought is that autonomous drones could provide a cheap and
> scalable solution to patrolling beaches to prevent shark attacks.  I expect
> that processors like the Pi 2 have easily enough processing power to both
> plan and execute search patterns along beaches, and perform the image
> recognition necessary to reliably detect potentially dangerous sharks.  A
> drone might also be able autonomously to visit surfers and swimmers near to
> the shark and warn them, either by some signal such as flashing red LEDs or
> an audible message (language issues notwithstanding).  The drone would have
> to be able to identify swimmers and surfers in the water (not easy; sharks
> confuse seals and surfers all the time), but computing an optimal route to
> visit suspected swimmers should be relatively easy :-).
>   I imagine that sooner or later it will be possible to construct cheap
> rugged solar powered docking/charging shelters that drones could depart from
> and return to, to charge and shelter from the elements after patrols.
> Satellite communications could provide status reports for maintenance.

This is a really interesting project. My lab is also interested by
using drones for environmental surveillance.
I can talk with my colleagues working on sharks if this is something
that they envision for the future.
Another idea is to use marine drones.

Serge Stinckwich
Every DSL ends up being Smalltalk

More information about the Squeak-dev mailing list