Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Intelligent Scarecrow Can Save Aquaculture From Financial Losses

Date:
May 2, 2006
Source:
University Of South Florida
Summary:
The Erebus Scarecrow -- designed by USF computer science students to protect both the investment of aqua-farmers and the lives of birds that may prey upon their fish -- does not, unlike the scarecrow of Oz fame, have a "head all full of stuffing." Erebus has a head all full of sophisticated but relatively low cost sensors, cameras and other hi-tech computer components that will keep predator birds away from fish farm ponds without harming the birds.

Erebus, center, with students and plastic test birds.
Credit: Image courtesy of University Of South Florida

The Erebus Scarecrow – designed by USF computer science students to protect both the investment of aqua-farmers and the lives of birds that may prey upon their fish – does not, unlike the scarecrow of Oz fame, have a “head all full of stuffing.” Erebus has a head all full of sophisticated but relatively low cost sensors, cameras and other hi-tech computer components that will keep predator birds away from fish farm ponds without harming the birds.

Related Articles


Erebus was born in the USF College of Engineering as just one of the novel projects during this semester’s Senior Project in USF professor of computer science Ken Christensen’s class. Every semester, the Senior Project class tackles five to six creative problems, many contributed by local companies. This year, Albert Ng, Jimal Ramsmooj, Francisco Blanquicet and Scott Werner had the fish farming-scarecrow brain storm and employed an “eBox” donated by Microsoft and sprinkler equipment donated by Contech.

“Aquaculture, also known as fish farming, is a vital part of the world’s fish production and a $40 million business in Florida,” said Christensen. “The outdoor farms are susceptible to predator birds. The students’ intelligent scarecrow is designed to benefit farmers while protecting predator birds - many of which are protected species - from harm.”

Its the head stuffing that makes Ereubus who he is.

“The Erebus Scarecrow is not just another motion-detector,” said student Albert Ng. “He is capable of intelligent detection, deterrence and can also record the events.”

Standing guard 24/7 in a USF football uniform, the smart scarecrow detects motion and then use its cameras and image processing software, running in an eBox “micro PC,” to discriminate between intruders and non-intruders using programmed color recognition. Erebus is “armed” with a speaker system that blasts 120 decibels of gunshot sound and hits predator birds with high speed but harmless streams of water. Not one to keep secrets, Erebus can email the user or call a user's cell phone to report an intrusion.

Fish farmers working around their ponds can wear an orange vest to identify themselves as "friendlies."

The USF computer science wizards designed and tested Erebus in the lab. But would he work pond-side? To find out, students let their fingers do the walking and, using the Yellow Pages, they “cold called” several fish farmers in the greater Tampa Bay area. A fish farmer who said he loses fish to birds everyday and, overall, perhaps three or five percent of his stock annually to birds, saw the possibilities and let them test Erebus on his fish farm.

The computer science students who participated in the project also suggest that a system like Erebus could be extended beyond fish farming to protect orchards and vineyards where farmers experience similar problems with deer, black bears and other neighbors.

“Given the low cost and the environmentally-friendly nature of the Erebus Scarecrow, it has the potential to become very attractive to fish farmers,” predicted Christensen.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of South Florida. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of South Florida. "Intelligent Scarecrow Can Save Aquaculture From Financial Losses." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 May 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060501232816.htm>.
University Of South Florida. (2006, May 2). Intelligent Scarecrow Can Save Aquaculture From Financial Losses. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060501232816.htm
University Of South Florida. "Intelligent Scarecrow Can Save Aquaculture From Financial Losses." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060501232816.htm (accessed November 29, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 27, 2014) A British palaeontologist has discovered a new species of dinosaur while studying fossils in a Canadian museum. Pentaceratops aquilonius was related to Triceratops and lived at the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 75 million years ago. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) Tryptophan, a chemical found naturally in turkey meat, gets blamed for sleepiness after Thanksgiving meals. But science points to other culprits. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins