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Croc-Spotting Drone Patrol Takes Off Down Under

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The drones were tested along riverbeds.

Aerial drones that patrol along riverbeds to detect crocodiles recently were tested in Cairns, Queensland, Australia.

Credit: Brendan Radke/AFP

In response to five attacks on people by crocodiles during 2017-2018, including two fatalities, high-tech aerial drones known as "croc spotters," which patrol along riverbeds to detect crocodiles, recently were tested in Cairns, Queensland, Australia.

The drones are equipped with an artificial intelligence algorithm that scans incoming video to identify the reptiles in creeks, rivers, and beaches.

The system is based on shark-spotting drones that are designed to detect a different kind of apex predator.

As the pilot operates the drone, the algorithm scans the video and sends an alert back to the pilot if it sees a threat.

The algorithm’s designers say it is 93% accurate in identifying crocodiles, while the naked eye only offers 16-19% accuracy.

From Agence France-Presse
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