A networked telerobotic observatory for collaborative remote observation of avian activity and range change
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The scientific field study of wildlife often requires vigilant observation of detailed animal behavior over extended periods. In remote and inhospitable locations, observation can be an arduous, expensive, and dangerous experience for field scientists. We are developing a new class of networked teleoperated robotic observatories" that allows citizen scientists" and professional scientists to remotely observe, record, and index animal activity and behaviors via the internet. This paper describes CONE-Welder, installed at the Rob & Bessie Welder Wildlife Foundation in Texas to gather photographic and quantitative data for a biological study of avian activity and hypothesized range change for selected subtropical bird species. Since the system was deployed on 12 May 2008, over 600 users (players") have participated online. Players have requested over 2.2 million camera frames and captured over 29,000 photographs. Within these photos, citizen scientists have classified 74 unique species, including eight avian species previously unknown to have breeding populations within the region. The collected dataset quantifies seasonal presence of birds of particular interest, e.g., the Green Jay (Cyanocorax incas). This paper describes the system architecture, the game interface that provides incentives for player participation, and initial data collected. © 2009 IFAC.
author list (cited authors)
Faridani, S., Lee, B., Glasscock, S., Rappole, J., Song, D., & Goldberg, K.