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Accenture, the Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation, and Intel partner to create the CORaiL underwater vision system to help restore fragile coral reef ecosystems

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Accenture has partnered with the Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation and Intel to develop an innovative solution for recreating and restoring coral reefs to their former health by installing special equipment including underwater cameras in the Pangatalan Island marine protected area in the Philippines. This system supports the Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation’s efforts to regrow and rebuild the island’s coral reef ecosystem. Coral reefs are one of the most diverse ecosystems on planet Earth and they’re threatened by a host of challenges including overfishing, deteriorating water quality, and ocean pollution. The project is called CORaiL, where the “ai” stands for “artificial intelligence.”

The engineering solution combines mobile, digital, and deep learning technologies. By employing rapid-prototyping techniques, the engineering team quickly developed an edge computing solution to monitor the progress of the restoration efforts by observing, classifying, and measuring marine life activity in the coral reef. The CORaiL testbed was initially launched in May, 2019.

Coral reef restoration efforts in the Pangatalan marine protected area involve the installation of concrete structures on the sea bottom. These structures serve as scaffolds that anchor new fragments of living coral. The CORaiL system studies these living coral fragments as they grow over time. As the coral reef grows, it creates a larger and larger haven for marine life. Consequently, the CORaiL system also monitors the presence of fish.



An artificial, concrete reef to provide support for unstable coral fragments underwater is implemented by Accenture, Intel and Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation in the coral reef surrounding the Pangatalan Island in the Philippines. Photo Credit: Accenture


Smart underwater video cameras located near the concrete scaffolds employ Accenture’s Video Analytics Services Platform (VASP), which provides a toolset for rapidly building and deploying AI capabilities. Accenture’s VASP provides multiple powerful analytics and visualization tools to help analysts increase operational insight and timely decisions from computer vision models. VASP is powered by multiple Intel technologies including Intel® Xeon® CPUs, Intel® FPGA Programmable Acceleration Cards (PACs), and the Intel® Neural Compute Stick 2 powered by the Intel® Movidius™ Myriad™ X Vision Processing Unit (VPU) and the Intel® Distribution of OpenVINO™ toolkit.

The resulting platform provides an effective, non-invasive observation platform for ongoing observations. The underwater cameras detect and photograph fish as they swim past. Deep learning algorithms built into the cameras then count and classify the fish. The processed data then travels wirelessly to the ocean surface and then to onshore servers where it’s processed, analyzed, and stored. The resulting data and reports allow the research team to make data-driven decisions about the restoration work.

Accenture hopes to use this system for other marine applications including fish migration studies and intrusion-detection and -monitoring of restricted underwater areas such as marine sanctuaries and fish farms.

For more information, see “Using Artificial Intelligence to Save Coral Reefs.”


For more information about the Accenture VASP system, click here.




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