Case Study Resolve NGO: AI for good


We worked with Resolve NGO to put their data science capabilities into high gear: deploying over 20 smart camera applications in 6 months across Asia and Africa. By creating AI using only synthetic data, we were able to improve their operational efficiency by 2000%, increase product battery life by 42x, and develop object detection algorithms for animals that are rarely photographed in the wild.





The pain points

RESOLVE is an international environmental NGO based in Washington DC. They are the developers of TrailguardAI – intelligent camera systems that tackle worldwide environmental issues. Their requirement when they came to CVEDIA was to create solutions that track endangered species in the wild, and alert authorities of poachers and illegal traders. TrailguardAI is a camouflaged edge device that sits overhead in trees and captures images of species and intruders.

As an annual $175 billion illegal industry, countries across Asia and Africa are fighting to find solutions to wildlife trafficking. RESOLVE knew that this type of technology could have a massive impact on the illegal trade industry, but being endangered, few photos and videos of these species exist – making it nearly impossible to create effective detection models through traditional data collection. To extend the problem, the current cameras had to be changed out every two months due to AI power restraints.

Resolve NGO was stuck at a stand-still – they knew exactly how they wanted their cameras to perform, but without effective algorithms and a better battery life, their cameras would send false positives to authorities too often and be a burden to maintain.



"Now typically we want cameras to last a year, even two years. You don’t want to have to go change the battery every two months, but in fact, that’s what we had to do. So the experiment we just did in South Africa, a typical rate of intruders (at a given trail) is maybe between one to ten transgressions a month. If we do the math, that should be the equivalent of 7 years of use in the field."

Eric Dinerstein | Director of Biodiversity and Wildlife Solutions, Resolve NGO.




Our solution

RESOLVE is an international environmental NGO based in Washington DC. They are the developers of TrailguardAI – intelligent camera systems that tackle worldwide environmental issues. Their requirement when they came to CVEDIA was to create solutions that track endangered species in the wild, and alert authorities of poachers and illegal traders. TrailguardAI is a camouflaged edge device that sits overhead in trees and captures images of species and intruders.

As an annual $175 billion illegal industry, countries across Asia and Africa are fighting to find solutions to wildlife trafficking. RESOLVE knew that this type of technology could have a massive impact on the illegal trade industry, but being endangered, few photos and videos of these species exist – making it nearly impossible to create effective detection models through traditional data collection. To extend the problem, the current cameras had to be changed out every two months due to AI power restraints.

Resolve NGO was stuck at a stand-still – they knew exactly how they wanted their cameras to perform, but without effective algorithms and a better battery life, their cameras would send false positives to authorities too often and be a burden to maintain.



In under three weeks, Resolve NGO went from concept to scale with their first intelligent camera deployed with CVEDIA technology. Within a month, Resolve NGO had an intelligent camera running a CVEDIA algorithm deployed in Asia, capturing photos of wild elephants for research with geologists, conservationists, and local communities.

Resolve NGO plans to deploy their cameras in 200 parks within a year. Through this creative use of technology, Resolve NGO has achieved a breakthrough against illegal wildlife poaching, allowing them to grow their donor list and fundraise with an active, in-the-field solution.

CVEDIA has since then built over 20 AI systems for Resolve NGO, for endangered species including snow leopards, rhinos, and tigers. Resolve NGO aspires to monitor every square mile of wildlife on the planet with their solutions, effectively eliminating environmental crime. Watch the video above to hear Eric Dinerstein, Director of Biodiversity and Wildlife Solutions at Resolve NGO discuss his experience with CVEDIA.