Dedicated to Protect Rhinos
Due to the uncontrolled demand for rhino horns, rhinos around the world are on the verge of extinction. The number of rhinos killed by poachers in South Africa has increased year after year. It is urgent to protect rhinoceros right now.
Wanying Mo, Jiaqing Zhao
Researcher, Concept developing, Ui Designer, Animate Designer, Prototype developing and testing
We focus on their African homeland and build up a monitoring system based on inter-species communication, concluding IoT technology and much ecological knowledge.
Rhinoceros, Cinema 4D, Redshift, Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe XD, After Effect, Arduino
Process and Outputs
South Africa has 528 national nature reserves, accounting for about 6.1% of the country's land area. What's more, there are 500 registered employees and 200 garrison police in each reserve on average. In contrast, there are millions of nationally protected animals in the park. And those poachers are carefully prepared, and they are well equipped.
Before a hunting operation begins, the poachers will first bribe the park staff to obtain information, and conduct squatting and searching in the park.
Poachers are equipped with the most advanced firearms and night vision devices, usually, three people move in an organized manner, and even take a helicopter to a designated place to commit crimes.
After many interviews, access to materials, and documentaries, we have a complete understanding of the profit chain of rhino horn trading.
The fundamental reason for the inadequate supervision of protected areas in South Africa is the disparity in the number of protectors and protected animals. Therefore, we turn our research direction to the wild animals in reserve, hoping to make use of the large animal populations in reserve in South Africa.
We finally found two types of wild animals that can be used to warn and respond to poachers.
Oxpeckers are common in the wild in Africa, standing on the back of a rhinoceros and pecking at the parasites and insects on it. They also play the role of sentinels, reminding rhinos whose eyesight is almost completely blind， and rhinos also provide a source of food for mutual benefit.
Zebras and antelopes are one of the enormous numbers of mammals in South Africa's central wild reserves. Their escape patterns in emergencies can provide a robust basis for judging foreign invaders in the park.
The different escape patterns encountered by predators and humans can be recognized and analyzed by the locator worn by the animal.
After a lot of research, we plan to solve this problem based on the characteristics of other species in the reserve and establish a monitoring system based on inter-species communication.
Unfold the belt
Tighten the belt
In the middle of the project, I found professor Xia to exchange our current design. He put forward some questions and suggestions about our design. Based on this, we did a round of product concept iteration.
After considering the possibility of the product falling off, to increase the product life, we added the signal detection function to the product. In this way, after falling off, E-oxpecker will become a fixed detection base station.
Rhinos often use horns as their weapons in fights, and they often rub their horns on trees. I suggest you reconsider the location of the product.
Indeed, professor, we did not consider what you said in the early stage.
Well, also, if your product accidentally falls off, can it still play a role? I suggest you think about it.
I get it, we need to consider the problem from the product cycle design.
DEMO building & testing
To show the product's function, we made a functional demo using the Arduino UNO board and GPS board. It can communicate with another GPS module, issue an alarm, and display its GPS location.
Working & Promotion video
E-oxpecker and other trackers can also link with cameras in the park and display information such as animal positions on the monitors of rangers. Allows rangers to understand the situation in the park better.
At the same time, we have also designed a matching mobile app for rangers to use this system to learn about the species in their area quickly, and they can quickly contact their colleagues in an emergency.
Our product system involves the public as a critical stakeholder to participate in the entire economic closed loop. This initiative will allow more people to get involved in protecting rhinos and enable the whole project to receive sufficient funding.