Detecting poachers

A project log for Automated Elephant-detection system

Real-time machine-vision based detection of elephants in rural areas: providing warnings to locals and thus prevent human-elephant conflict

Neil K. SheridanNeil K. Sheridan 03/04/2017 at 21:040 Comments

One feature I am hoping to add to the elephant system is the capability to identify poachers. Obviously elephant detection devices will be in the correct place to spot them! But how can we train an image classifier to differentiate between good[!] people and poachers? What is distinct about a poacher? Well, it seems likely that poachers would carry a rifle ready for use when they are in the elephants' habitat! So is the difference between an image of someone carrying a rifle and someone not carrying a rifle enough to work with?

So looking at some of these images, it does seem kinda hopeful that we could differentiate between humans carrying rifles vs. humans not carrying them!

Source: NDTV videoOf course we need not work only with images to detect poachers! Once they fire their rifles we can 'easily' detect such a loud and distinct noise (unless it is raining heavily etc.). But that might not be so good because local people may be out hunting. Perhaps we could restrict poacher identification to night-time? I'm going to have a look thru literature on poacher behaviour to get a better idea.

** update regarding algorithms

I'm currently trying out TensorFlow with or without Keras. as a more promising alternative to OpenCV.

Just also, I'm not sure now about having one trained image classifier that would be used for every installation of the system. I think it would improve accuracy if we trained each system with a dataset of images obtained at that location.