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Publication - Dr Tilo Burghardt

    Aerial Animal Biometrics

    Individual Friesian Cattle Recovery and Visual Identification via an Autonomous UAV with Onboard Deep Inference

    Citation

    Andrew, W, Greatwood, C & Burghardt, T, 2019, ‘Aerial Animal Biometrics: Individual Friesian Cattle Recovery and Visual Identification via an Autonomous UAV with Onboard Deep Inference’.

    Abstract

    This paper describes a computationally-enhanced M100 UAV platform with an onboard deep learning inference system for integrated computer vision and navigation. The system is able to autonomously find and visually identify
    by coat pattern individual Holstein Friesian cattle in freely moving herds. We propose an approach that utilises three deep convolutional neural network architectures running live
    onboard the aircraft:
    (1) a YOLOv2-based species detector,
    (2) a dual-stream deep network delivering exploratory agency, and
    (3) an InceptionV3-based biometric long-term recurrent convolutional network for individual animal identification.
    We evaluate the performance of each of the components offline, and also online via real-world field tests comprising 147 minutes of autonomous low altitude flight in a farm environment over a dispersed herd of 17 heifer dairy cows. We report error free identification performance on this online experiment. The
    presented proof-of-concept system is the first of its kind. It represents a practical step towards autonomous biometric identification of individual animals from the air in open pasture
    environments for tag-less AI support in farming and ecology.

    Full details in the University publications repository