Their new moth box design operates remotely to activate a UV light and artificially intelligent camera to capture footage of the moths entering the box, this is then accessed remotely by researchers who can identify and record the moth species seen on camera.
The ATI2 project was also able to help the business to identify a market need for their moth box and has provided funding support to prototype, test and develop the working products.
“The support has enabled us to gain access and expertise into knowledge areas that we weren’t aware of, specifically with the way that the government is changing their approach to land use and the support for farmers,” adds Matthew.
By engaging with ATI2, the Far Out Thinking Company gained access to a vast network of specialist knowledge and expertise, from both the University of Plymouth and the accredited innovation practitioners that form part of our overall project’s services.
They also benefitted from the ATI2 Internship Programme, which funds 50% of an intern’s wage* and looks to place a University of Plymouth student with the academic skills needed to help with a short-term innovation project.
The programme enabled the company to facilitate three diverse roles during 2022, one of which led to a permanent position. Other successful project outcomes included a deep learning computer, the patent application for their new product and progress for their Artificial Intelligence (AI) pipeline, something which they hope to be able to use in time as they train the artificially intelligent camera to identify and classify different moth species.
After working collaboratively on several R&D projects with the University of Plymouth, the Far Out Thinking Company have now received an offer letter from the R&D Solutions Fund to work with Dr Lauren Ansell, Lecturer in Mathematical Sciences at the University of Plymouth, and are looking towards building insect pollinator databases and creating an app and front-end website for landowners to search for, and purchase, specific seed mixes to bring more pollinator species into an area.
“We have done a number of R&D projects with the University (of Plymouth), it has helped us gain expertise from the academics and also the business support,” says Matthew.
In the future, The Far Out Thinking Company wishes to further develop its moth box by using AI to quickly and accurately identify the moth species using image classification. With over 2,500 species of moth in the UK, adopting AI technology in this way could help significantly by speeding up the identification process and freeing up researcher’s time.
Their next steps for 2023 are to explore Innovate UK funding and expand their network of beehives and moth boxes – we are buzzing to continue supporting their plans to innovate, pollinate and grow in Cornwall and afar.
* ATI2 was able to help with the cost of this external resource by funding 50% of the intern’s wages for a 2-month placement (based on a maximum contribution of £600 per month towards a salary of £1,200 pm for the student)