Heat map showing sensor activity in a conservation area.
Endangered species in conservation areas are threatened to the point of extinction by poachers. Local authorities are resource constrained and are not able to monitor an entire conservation area for poaching activity -- particularly the interior of a preserve. Low cost sensors can be deployed throughout the interior of a conservation area to monitor the savanna for suspicious activity.
What it does
Savvy Savanna allows low cost Internet of Things devices - the sensor and the button - to be deployed in conservation areas and surrounding villages. The system allows people to press a button to report suspicious poaching activity and solar-powered field sensors which automatically report potential poacher problems in the savanna.
Sensors in the savanna detect sounds, such as helicopter noise, that trigger an alert to be sent to the cloud and subsequently to the appropriate authorities.
The system alerts authorities of poacher activity detected by the system. The authorities receive a text message alert.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
Network Coverage Issues Cellular signal reception and WiFi network coverage is limited in the savanna. Signals from the sensors need a way to transmit information to the cloud. To solve this problem, the sensors in the field are part of a mesh network. This is technology currently utilized in "smart cities" with interconnected devices. Field sensors can be networked together with only certain sensors directly connected to the main cloud network.
Community Participant Anonymity Community members may be targeted for attack by organized crime groups if they are seen as reporting poaching activities. To solve this problem, "the button" component of the system is a way that community members can anonymously report potential poaching activity in their neighborhood by simply pushing a button.