[ExI] i'll bee seeing you... was: RE: old software fun

spike spike66 at att.net
Tue Jun 2 14:32:18 UTC 2015



>… On Behalf Of Mike Dougherty
Subject: Re: [ExI] old software fun


On Tue, Jun 2, 2015 at 1:23 AM spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:

It has me thinking.  Back in the day, I thought how cool it would be to have
a data logger at home, all the fun things I could measure and log.  Now I
can have a handful of them.  So now my challenge is to get one which logs
the old fashioned 0 to 5 volts, then I can set up my instrumentation to log
whatever I want…I can think of a buttload of cool applications around the home.  spike


>…I wonder if video would be more useful data.

Ja, but far more complicated.  What I am looking for is a cheap instrument with a price target of 50 bucks.  That price point a magic number: proles will buy them for kids as birthday gifts and science projects and such.  We need something that is a stand-alone unit with a microphone where you turn it on and leave it for a few days, then fetch it, plug it into your USB port, download the data.

>…  We're not very good at processing sound (in general) compared with video…

Ja it would be a compromise.  I know how to band-pass sound pressure level.  That is cheap and easy to do with a single-chip, one of the standard mass produced ones with a few op-amps and diodes.  I like your idea of using a broader spectrum in order to detect and count secondary pollinators such as bumblebees, Carpenter bees, scoliid wasps, tabanids and nemestrinid flies and other such beasts.  

I may have jumped to the microphone possibility only because I already know how to do it.  Honeybees and Carpenters are loud buzzy things.  If you get in the middle of a big blossomy bush this time of year when the bees are really going at it, the cumulative buzz is remarkably loud, and oh what a relaxing beautiful sound it is, reminding a prole of his misspent youth so tragically many years ago.  Go ahead, try it.  Bees will not sting you if they are out gathering pollen, not even if you intentionally mess with them.  They only sting for homeland defense, never while foraging. 


>… No doubt you could train an expert system ("deep learning" or whatever we call this flavor of AI these days) how to detect bees from a video stream…

This sounds really cool Mike, but way beyond my modest skills.  What I have in mind is something a sharp high school kid could accomplish as a science fair project.


>…To further nerdify this setup we have to include some way to gamify the data with crowdsource interaction…

You said it right.  We had that previous internet group, but the data was in a form mostly useless, all verbiage, very little hard comparable data.  Even if we somehow find that archive (Queen Bee never came back) it would be an enormous task to read thru all the commentary and try to extract anything useful.  We need crowdsourced standardized instrumentation, from which we can extract files filled with numbers.  Then we get a second army of geeks to do data processing and interpretations.  We compare datasets to see if this year’s California bee death rate is related to the drought and people turning off their home irrigation systems, leading to fewer pollen-bearing plants and starvation (my best guess.) 

>…  I imagine some sort of "bee keeping" analogy where the gamer is tasked with tracking/tagging the activity of visible bees across the spectrum of howevermany camera feeds we have per location…

We have phones with two very good cameras in them which we throw in the trash every couple years.  I kept my old phone this time and took it apart.  I am astonished at how sophisticated those have become.  Seems like we should be able to somehow make bee-observing stations from those phone cams.

>…  Leaderboard plus achievement/badges should be enough competition to keep eyes-on for at least a while…

That worked great for Khan Academy.

>…  There might exist opportunities to monetize by selling virtual billboard space in a foraging field overlay:  advertisers pay a fixed price to get on the board, then pay additional for each bee that cross their adspace with the premise that our beekeepers are actively tracking the bees through those overlays…

Ja, excellent.  Maybe get people to pledge a penny a bee for an hour or something like they do to raise money for the local high school band march-athons, then use the pool to set up more of these cell-phone cameras.  

Come to think of it, the used cell phones already have microphones and processors in them, so we could theoretically load a Fourier-transform program, have it take a picture whenever it hears something that sounds like a pollinator, rig it with an external power source so it can stay on for days.  We could manufacture the power sources, something as simple as a cradle with four D-cells, make a buttload of money, collect bee data at the same time, oh excellent. 

>…ok, so there's some ideas... feel free to implement.  :p

Cool, now a downer: if we post these ideas in this forum, are we defeating ourselves?  I assume they can’t be patented once they are in the public domain, so then people who would create something like this for profit won’t bother?  Do we have intellectual property hipsters here?  IP Brians, do you know?  Anyone else?



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