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Crocodile-spotting drone puts Australian eyes in the sky

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on September 26, 2019 - Duration: 00:58s

Crocodile-spotting drone puts Australian eyes in the sky

New drones designed to spot crocodiles have been unveiled in Queensland, Australia in order to better protect tourists.

Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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Crocodile-spotting drone puts Australian eyes in the sky

In a project initiated by the Queensland state government, Westpac Little Ripper drones use an algorithm to identify and spot the crocodiles, with the imagery being sent back "within seconds" to an app.

Developers say it can identify 16 different types of marine life and has an accuracy rate of 93%.

The algorithm, created with the University of Technology in Sydney, is trained to separate crocodiles from mangroves in northern Queensland's dense rainforest areas, something the ocean drones do not have to contend with.

The croc project follows on from success for the privately owned Ripper Group in using drones to identify sharks in northern New South Wales.

With 11 crocodile attacks since 2011 and the most recent being in 2017, according to Queensland government data, developers hope the service will keep people safer.

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