Mindfury attends first Zoological Society of London Hackathon – Zoohackathon.

 

9th October 2016

One hundred coders and technologists were invited to come up with tech solutions for conservation issues, specifically illegal wildlife trade. This is something very close to our hearts. We believe it is the responsibility of everyone to ensure that we leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.

This year Zoohackathon is hosted in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State and Bloomberg. It brings together coders from across the world to focus on the illegal wildlife trade, creating apps and communications to support law enforcement and tackle organised crime.

 

The hackathon started with an introduction and then we were off. A solid 24 hours of coding later and we were ready to present to the U.S. Department of State and associated judging panel.

Problem Statements

ZSL Provided the teams with a number of problem statements to get our creative juices flowing.

  • Solution to Send Alerts and Messages to Wildlife Rangers through Mobile Phones or Digital Radio Networks
  • Solution to Determine Most Effective Image Recognition Technology to Help Wildlife Rangers Identify Poachers
  • Solution to Help Inform Consumers about Purchasing Exotic Menu Items or Pets
  • Solution to Quantify the Global Legal and Illegal Trade of Tarantula Spiders and Scorpions through Social Media Platforms
  • Solution to Tackle a General Aspect of Wildlife Trafficking

The Solution

We chose to come up with an innovative solution by which Wildlife rangers could be alerted about poaching activity.

Most often, our nature reserves and the wildlife that live there have little or no protection, and criminal groups target these protected areas to illegally poach wildlife. Park managers often only have small teams of rangers and are unable to effectively secure these vast and remote landscapes. Multi-sensor alarm systems for protected areas can be used to detect humans and potential poaching threats and help enable rangers to rapidly respond.

Scope of Solution: Design a solution that will automatically translate incoming alerts into messages that can be distributed to rangers via mobile phone or digital radio networks as audio messages.

Meet Rafiki (friend)

Rafiki is a AI enabled SMS application. The main problem statement defined the issue, in that rangers and people in these areas don’t always have access to the latest technology. It’s important that this didn’t cause friction to the solution.

Rafiki attempts to use both person submitted intelligence messages and a variety of data feeds to both inform and predict potential poaching activity.