Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Zoo uses Nominet IoT tools to protect endangered species

Steve Rogerson
May 6, 2020

International conservation charity the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is using IoT tools from internet infrastructure firm Nominet to protect endangered animals from the illegal wildlife trade by preventing and detecting criminal activity.
Nominet has been conducting research and development for several years in the areas of IoT and autonomous vehicles. A key enabler of its research has been its internally developed IoT data collection, analysis and insight platform. These IoT tools are now open source.
ZSL is the first major user of the tools and is integrating them into its Instant Detect product. The tools help ZSL capture and analyse data from remote camera and sensor systems in the field. The latest features include integration with automated image detection and classification AI to help further identify potential criminal activity.
“We’re delighted to announce that IoT tools are now available as an open source project for the wider tech community to adopt, contribute and take forward,” said Adam Leach, SVP at Nominet. “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.”
Instant Detect is a wildlife, environment and threat monitoring system designed for 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 are 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.
“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,” said Sam Seccombe from ZSL. “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 are available under Apache 2.0 licence.