We’re using popular gaming platforms, sensor technologies and next-generation data interaction techniques to help Australian prawn farmers increase efficiency and production while reducing risk.

The challenge

Prawn farming: a high value industry

The worldwide demand for marine-based protein is booming. Aquaculture is a high value intensive farming system and it plays an important role in food security in many countries.

However, there’s a substantial gap between how much is harvested and how much could be harvested. Just 1% production improvement in farming practices could bring a further $16 million to the Australian industry annually.

Conditions in ponds is key to ensuring prawns are thriving, but water quality can quickly change from healthy to threatening in a matter of hours. Current methods for monitoring water quality are labour intensive and there can be significant delays between when water quality measurements are taken and seeing important changes in the data.

Our response

Bringing gaming to farming: augmented reality in agriculture

Through our future science platform, Digiscape, we’re working on novel pond and animal sensor technologies, the next generation of data interaction techniques, data modelling, situational awareness and decision support to give farmers immediate, pond-side understanding of key water quality parameters like dissolved oxygen, pH and turbidity. All using state-of-the-art wearable and hands-free technologies that farmers can use while they’re walking around and managing their ponds.

It could change the way decisions are made in aquaculture, give them the information they need to better manage animal health and feed inputs, for example, and even share the visuals in real time with managers in the office or external experts for fast input.

We’re also using deep learning to forecast key water quality variables 24 hours into the future from live sensor data captured in ponds.

We’ve chosen prawn farming as the first industry to test these technologies, with a view to expanding into other complex agricultural environments as well. These technologies could become a normal part of farm operations no matter what you farm, as all types of farming become more reliant on gathering and understanding data from sensor systems.

[Music plays. Image shows a young man standing in a room holding a pair of high tech goggles. Text appears: Dr Mingze Xi, CSIRO postdoctoral Fellow]

[Image changes to show the man walking through a door. Text appears: We’re using computer vision and graphics from the gaming world]

[Image changes to show a camera connected to the ceiling. Image changes to show two men standing at a desk looking at a computer. Text appears: sensor technologies and next generation data interaction techniques]

[Image changes to show the high tech goggles being picked up. The man walks to the light switch, turns the light off and puts the goggles on]

[Text appears: to enhance productivity in complex agricultural environments such as prawn farming]

[Image changes to show what the man sees through the goggles. Image shows a series of coloured squares and text with numbers about ponds]

[Image changes to show the man wearing the goggles using hand and head gestures to control the content of the goggles]

[Text appears: This technology could help prawn farmers make sense of massive amounts of data on water quality]

[Images changes to show what the man sees through the goggles. Image shows a graph of water quality in a pond]

[text appears: and monitor and improve production systems in real time, for the first time.]

[Image changes to show what the man sees through the goggles. Image shows text and graphs with numbers about ponds and a series of coloured squares]

[Image changes to show CSIRO logo. Music plays. Text appears: Australia’s innovation catalyst]

Augmented reality in aquaculture :  Augmented reality in aquaculture

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