IP67 Waterproof Jetson PCs Automate Worlds First Lobster Farming Facility
Australian Bay Lobster Producers (ABLP) is a grower and supplier of premium-quality Bay Lobsters, also known as Moreton Bay bug, from their highly controlled production facility on the north coast of New South Wales.
A key concern for the company is monitoring of their growth tanks where maintaining health of the colony of lobsters is key. Animal health data such as number of animals, feed volumes, and animal sizes is important for production management and decision making. Additionally, dead or diseased animals can impact on the water quality and the wider colony and need to be rapidly identified and removed.
Historically these tasks have been carried out by employees looking through the tanks to observe and count data, resulting in delayed decision making. A process that is time consuming and costly ABLP recognised that this task could potentially be automated using emerging advances in machine vision technology coupled with digital processing, identification and classification techniques.
Combining world-leading capabilities in image processing, machine learning, robotics, and software with additional input from experts in agronomy, biology, water use, and farming technology.
Driving sustainable farming production and disease prevention in aquaculture industries through artificial intelligence technologies is the key aim of Griffith University Research Hub. Partnering with ABLP, The Hub has integrated machine vision and robotics technology into many aspects of this world-first lobster farming facility at Chinderah and is an integral part of the company’s business strategy.
Image Capture of Morton Bay Bug Larvae
Waterproof GPU computers were installed for continuous, automated monitoring of larvae tanks which allows for precision feeding, optimising growth rate of the larvae and significantly reducing mortality, while also reducing labour costs for this critical stage of lobster development.
As a direct result of the research carried out by Griffith University this technology is already in a full production environment and has proven to be extremely effective in significantly improving larval stage output and making lobster farming for ABLP truly sustainable. The Hub is now performing on a larger scale to help transform the agriculture and aquaculture industries into highly efficient productions.
Relying on Things Embedded for Industry Leading Waterproof Jetson PCs
Partnering with Syslogic
Failure rates were proving to be a huge problem for the engineers at The Hub. After a short installation period inside the control cabinet the AGX Xavier Jetson developer kits were malfunctioning. Observations were made that contact points on board the carrier boards were beginning to rust which is common in high moisture environments. Wanting to stick with AGX Xavier platform The Hub turned to Things Embedded for an industrial solution capable of withstanding the harsh elements often found in Aquaculture.
ABLPs required operating environment was deemed to be particularly extreme due to the saline environment. Looking to adopt complete ingress protection down to connector level the RS A3N from Syslogic was proposed as the recommended waterproof AI computer. Additional connectivity was required making way for a customised solution.
A Submersible GPU Computer from Syslogic
The waterproof AGX Xavier computer complies with IP67 and IP69 protection classes making it one of the most robust Jetson systems on the market. To protect the electronics from moisture, humidity, and dust, the waterproof PC features an extremely robust fanless aluminium housing and screw-on M12 connectors. The concise cooling fins are perfectly designed to channel the heat out of the device. It enables passive cooling, thus eliminating the need for a fan that is susceptible to malfunction. Furthermore, a Gore vent element ensures pressure equalization inside the device. It is this level of ruggedness which was required for operating in a saline environment 24/7.
Integrating PoE and Digital I/O
With the Jetson AGX Xavier module on board, the waterproof AI computer is able to process and evaluate data from multiple HD camera streams simultaneously and practically in real time. Providing 2x GbE for communication as standard the system was configured with a further 4x GbE PoE ports for hooking up and powering various sensors and cameras. The Jetson PC was also customised with onboard digital I/O to adapt the system into a real-time controller for intelligent vision applications.
“Even with fanless Jetson computers we were continuing to struggle with failures in the field as the aggressive saline moisture in the environment would find it’s way into the systems through standard connector ports. We received excellent service from the technical team at Things Embedded in providing a bespoke rugged Jetson PC and have since found use cases for their vision systems in agriculture and aquaculture.” The Hub at Griffith University