Trellis Data’s AI-Powered Biosecurity System Successfully Safeguards Australia’s Agriculture Sector

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Trellis Data, in collaboration with the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, has successfully completed a 5-month pilot trial of their AI-powered Biosecurity Automated Threat Detection System (BATDS) at the port of Brisbane. The trial aimed to protect Australia’s agriculture sector, which is worth $90 billion, from pests that are introduced through the country’s ports.

Australia faces constant threats from pests that enter the country through shipping containers. To address this challenge, the department commissioned Trellis Data to develop an AI-based surveillance system capable of scanning all incoming containers. Trellis Data used its Trellis Intelligence Platform to create bespoke Object Detection Models and integrated them with advanced camera management technology to create the Biosecurity Automated Threat Detection System.

During the trial, the AI model evolved and was able to identify approximately 58% of container anomalies that were identified through manual inspection. Notably, it successfully detected 63% of soil detections during the final reporting period. This technology has the potential to not only safeguard the agriculture sector but also protect goods, identify illegal items, and enhance overall border protection.

The BATDS system scanned over 48,000 containers for biosecurity risk materials using 35 strategically placed cameras on five cranes at the DP World facility. The system seamlessly integrated with existing processes, allowing for swift container scanning without disrupting the flow of goods. As part of the pilot, 1,300 high-risk containers were manually inspected by the department, and the results were compared with the detections made by the BATDS system.

A continuous improvement process was developed with entomologists from the department to fine-tune the AI model, resulting in a highly effective machine learning model for biosecurity screening. The model was able to filter out non-threatening objects such as rust, grease, and container damage, leading to more accurate detections.

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In order to track all detections comprehensively, a separate model was trained to read container IDs on challenging surfaces. The Trellis Data system design allowed for wireless streaming of all captured images from the cameras to servers, enabling the highly mobile cranes to move seamlessly throughout the port.

Tim McLaren, the Head of Communication at Trellis Data, believes that this pilot project is a success and demonstrates the immense potential of AI-driven systems in enhancing biosecurity screening at scale. McLaren stated that they are now looking for funding to implement this technology on a larger scale and are interested in partnering with other countries such as the US to further test and improve the system.

With ongoing improvements, Trellis Data aims to significantly enhance biosecurity screening at all port facilities in the future. This advancement will provide greater confidence in the biosecurity status of containers entering Australia, further safeguarding the country’s vital agriculture sector.

Link to BATDS overview video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxJx0-3589c&t=1s

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Related to the Above News

What is the Biosecurity Automated Threat Detection System (BATDS)?

The Biosecurity Automated Threat Detection System (BATDS) is an AI-powered surveillance system developed by Trellis Data in collaboration with the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. It is designed to scan all incoming containers at ports to detect and identify potential biosecurity threats to Australia's agriculture sector.

How does the BATDS work?

The BATDS utilizes advanced camera management technology and bespoke Object Detection Models created by Trellis Data to scan containers for anomalies. It integrates seamlessly with existing processes and uses strategically placed cameras on cranes at port facilities. The captured images are wirelessly streamed to servers, allowing for swift container scanning without disrupting the flow of goods.

What were the results of the BATDS pilot trial?

During the 5-month pilot trial at the port of Brisbane, the AI model of the BATDS system evolved and successfully identified approximately 58% of container anomalies that were later confirmed through manual inspection. It also detected 63% of soil detections during the final reporting period. The trial demonstrated the effectiveness of the system in enhancing biosecurity screening.

What are the potential applications of the BATDS system?

The BATDS system not only protects the agriculture sector but also has the potential to safeguard goods, identify illegal items, and enhance overall border protection. It can be used to detect various biosecurity threats, ensuring the safety and integrity of imported goods.

How many containers were scanned during the pilot trial?

The BATDS system scanned over 48,000 containers for biosecurity risk materials at the port of Brisbane.

Were there any manual inspections conducted during the pilot trial?

Yes, as part of the pilot trial, 1,300 high-risk containers were manually inspected by the department to compare the results with the detections made by the BATDS system.

Did the AI model improve over time during the trial?

Yes, a continuous improvement process was developed during the trial, involving entomologists from the department. This process fine-tuned the AI model, resulting in a highly effective machine learning model for biosecurity screening.

What further plans does Trellis Data have for the BATDS system?

Trellis Data plans to seek funding to implement the BATDS technology on a larger scale. They are also interested in partnering with other countries, such as the US, to further test and enhance the system.

How will the BATDS system benefit Australia's agriculture sector?

The BATDS system will significantly enhance biosecurity screening at all port facilities, providing greater confidence in the biosecurity status of containers entering Australia. This will further safeguard the country's vital agriculture sector, which is worth $90 billion.

Please note that the FAQs provided on this page are based on the news article published. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is always recommended to consult relevant authorities or professionals before making any decisions or taking action based on the FAQs or the news article.

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