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Australia’s most successful drone company the Westpac Little Ripper Lifesaver announced today a world first in shark spotting.

The Chief Executive Officer of Westpac Little Ripper Lifesaver UAV company, Mr Eddie Bennet today announced the introduction of a world first algorithm to be used with the Westpac Little Ripper Lifesaver that can spot a shark and then hover over it.
Trials have shown in excess of a 90% success rate in identifying sharks from the video feed and in distinguishing sharks from dolphins, rays and other marine life.
The technology is more efficient for example, than reconnaissance from helicopter by the naked eye or straight video feed footage from a drone overhead.
This has been developed in conjunction with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and been a collaboration over the past 12 months with UTS and the LIttle Ripper Group.
Prof Blumenstein of UTS said today that “the automated system for detection and identification of sharks in particular, and marine life/objects more generally, was developed using cutting edge deep neural networks and images processing techniques. The system efficiently distinguishes and identifies sharks from other targets by processing video feeds that are dynamic as well as images, where objects are static. The system will be able to warn swimmers/surfers from overhead with an on-board megaphone attached to Westpac Little Ripper drones, when a shark or a potential risk is detected. This cutting edge AI system developed by UTS will create a positive impact for the public, while making beach recreation much safer and more secure.”
Sharkspotter was developed using the state-of-the-art deep learning algorithms and image processing techniques. The system processes live video feeds at real time for detecting the presence of Sharks and other marine objects which can be of potential threats to surfers/swimmers. High accuracy was achieved in detecting different marine objects, with more than 90% accuracy in detecting Sharks This system will surely assist in making beach recreation much safer and is a major milestone in addressing shark attacks.

Mr Bennet said that “this capability will significantly enhance the Westpac Little Ripper Group’s ability to save life, which is the overriding vision of the Group. In patrolling the beaches – which the Group has done regularly for nearly a year – this smart algorithm gives us yet another capability on top of our deployable surf rescue pods; again a world first”.

The Mayor of Ballina David Wright said that “the Westpac Little Ripper Lifesaver have been developing methods to identify sharks in the water since its inception, and the latest news is ground breaking. It is a major step towards solving the problem of shark attacks, and I am delighted to support safety in the water”.

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