Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Telit tracking tech used in Australian conservation program

Iain Morris
October 9, 2014
 
In a particularly innovative example of M2M usage, modules from Telit are being used to track the whereabouts and welfare of koalas as part of an Australian conservation program.

The tracking solution uses a tracking collar developed by LX Design House (Eveleigh, Australia), an Australian design consultancy that specializes in the IoT and M2M fields, in combination with the Telit module.

The collar has to meet a very specialized set of requirements, according to the technology partners, partly because koalas tuck their chins into their chests to rest, making it impossible to employ bulky electronics.

Telit (London, UK) and LX also wanted to ensure that the service provided close to real-time tracking and activity monitoring.

The device also had to function at a long range in heavily forested environments and be capable of alerting researchers if koalas come into contact with vehicles.

Telit claims that its GSM HE910 module is ideal for this kind of solution because it has a small physical profile, low power consumption and good location accuracy.

According to Telit’s release, koalas are notoriously difficult to spot in the wild because of their natural camouflage, but they are facing unprecedented pressure as a result of deforestation and the construction of new roads.

Moreover, from a national population of about 100,000, some 4,000 koalas are killed by dogs and cats every year.

Conservationists now believe the koala is on the brink of disaster in many parts of its remaining geographical range and that the only way to save them is to protect eucalyptus forests where they live.

“These iconic, furry little Australian creatures are listed as a threatened species, so working with LX and facilitating the creation of an incredibly light tracking solution was a particularly rewarding experience,” said Derick Tsang, president of Telit APAC.
 
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