Vancouver’s Metaspectral has been selected to receive up to $200,000 as the first funding component of the Department of National Defence’s Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program for the Better Than Meets the Eye challenge.
The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) were seeking innovative solutions to assist Maritime lookouts in detecting, characterizing, and tracking objects of interest to improve the efficiency and safety of maritime operations.
Metaspectral’s technology makes it possible to derive real-time insights from AI using ultra-high-resolution, visible-to-infrared (hyperspectral) imagery.
“The role of the maritime lookout is crucial. They are often the first to observe danger at sea, and the safety of ships depends on them. A lookout must spot and quickly identify navigational hazards or other threats,” said Metaspectral CTO, Migel Tissera. “But, we cannot ignore the fact that after long hours, lookouts may become fatigued and are more likely to be prone to human error. This is further compounded by fog and other weather conditions that can reduce visibility.”
The Navy will continue to rely on human lookouts but is also seeking innovative solutions to augment and support a lookout’s ability to see, accurately characterize, and track all items of interest within the range of vision, especially in conditions of low visibility.
“We are designing technology that will use machine learning to enhance the capabilities of marine lookouts. Our technology has the ability to collect and process unprecedented quantities of data from across the electromagnetic spectrum, creating ultra-high definition images,” added Tissera. “Because we can compress data without losing quality, our technology retains more of the original images than has been previously possible. This will make it easier to spot items of interest in high detail.”
A prototype by Metaspectral is expected to be ready by the end of the year.
Last month Metaspectral received a $300,000 grant from CleanBC to develop computer vision, artificial intelligence, and robotics designed to sort post-consumer recycled plastic.