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NTT COMWARE Launches Nest-Building Detection Service Utilizing Image Recognition AI Deeptector®
- Smart electric power company facility inspection system using AI to detect nest-building by crows and send out notifications in real time -

NTT COMWARE CORPORATION (Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President: Satoshi Kurishima; hereinafter NTT COMWARE) launched the Deeptector® nest-building detection service (hereinafter "Nest-Building Detection Service"), a service that supports the automation and streamlining of inspection work at electric power company facilities utilizing the image recognition AI Deeptector®. The service commenced on April 8. The Nest-Building Detection Service streamlines nest-building patrol work that detects nest-building by crows and removes nests (*1) on power distribution equipment.

(*1) Nest-building: Building of nests by crows or other animals. Crows build their nests in early spring every year on power distribution equipment or other high places. In addition to tree branches, metal materials such as clothes hangers are sometimes used for nest-building, which can cause power outages if they come into contact with high-voltage lines.

Electric power companies conduct daily inspections of facilities for the purpose of preventive maintenance to ensure a safe and stable supply of electricity. Nest-building by crows increases in early spring and can cause power outages if nests come into contact with high-voltage lines, calling for early detection and removal. This makes it necessary to conduct regular patrols, which has become a major issue in terms of manpower since crows continue to build nests even after they have been removed. Since 2018, NTT COMWARE and Shikoku Electric Power Transmission & Distribution Company, Incorporated (Head office: Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture; Director and President: Ikuo Yokoi; hereinafter YONDEN T&D) have been conducting demonstration experiments with automatic nest-building detection and prognostic technology using the image recognition AI Deeptector®. Based on the results of those experiments, NTT COMWARE developed an automatic nest-building detection and prognostic system that enables real-time detection using AI technology. Shikoku Electric Power introduced this system in March 2021. NTT COMWARE has commercialized this automatic nest-building detection and prognostic system as a service, and began offering it as the Nest-Building Detection Service on April 8, 2021.

The "Nest-Building Detection Service" uses cameras mounted on cars and motorcycles to capture images of power distribution equipment such as utility poles while driving. Deeptector® analyzes the images obtained to instantly detect nest-building, visualize the prognostic results, and send an e-mail notification to the person who ordered the removal. The detection of nest-building in real-time enables the time between nest-building detection and nest removal to be reduced. Previously, nest-building detection required patrol by two people carrying out a visual check, because nest-building activity was checked from a vehicle. The introduction of the "Nest-building Detection Service" makes it possible for patrols to be carried out by the driver only. The service also reduces the number of times that the driver needs to stop the vehicle to carry out a more in-depth check, thereby reducing the effort required. The Nest-Building Detection Service enables power companies to patrol a wide area in a short period of time, contributing to quick and efficient nest removal.

In the future, it may be possible to expand the geographical range of nest-building patrol operations by installing cameras on railroad carriages and other vehicles. The Nest-Building Detection Service can also be used for the maintenance and management of a range of other infrastructure such as steel poles. It is therefore expected to accelerate the streamlining of operational efficiency in various industries.

NTT COMWARE's image recognition AI Deeptector® has been used in a number of industries such as road defect detection, visual inspection in manufacturing industries, and healthcare. With the launch of the Nest-Building Detection Service, we are expanding its range of application to the electric power industry. Moving forward, we will continue to promote the use of AI by further expanding our AI services, contributing to the promotion of corporate digital transformation. At the same time, we will utilize data and AI to help solve social issues facing cities, with the aim of realizing smart cities.

*"Deeptector" is a registered trademark of NTT COMWARE CORPORATION.
*Other names of companies, products, and services are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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