Robin Yadav, a Grade 12 student at Queen Elizabeth Secondary, created a project, “Deep Learning based Fire Recognition for Wildfire Drone Automation,” that uses machine learning and object detection to perform video-based fire recognition using a drone. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Queen Elizabeth secondary

Surrey student’s science fair project aimed at helping fight wildfires

Grade 12 student Robin Yadav uses drone technology to take visual information of fires

When working on his latest science fair project, Robin Yadav says he wanted to use his knowledge of math and computer science “to see if I can help the wildfires in B.C.”

Robin, a Grade 12 student at Queen Elizabeth Secondary, created a project, “Deep Learning based Fire Recognition for Wildfire Drone Automation,” that uses machine learning and object detection to perform video-based fire recognition using a drone.

His project won the Intact Financial Climate Change Resilience Award at the nationwide Youth Science Canada online STEM Fair, as well as the BC Game Developers Innovation and Engineers and Geoscientists awards for the South Fraser region at the BC/Yukon Virtual Science Fair.

READ ALSO: Seven Surrey students win awards at virtual science fair, July 20, 2020

Robin said he always been “really interested” in math, and by the time he was in Grade 9, he’d completed his high school math requirements.

“I just wanted to see what else I could do with the math knowledge I have. So over the summer, I started learning machine learning and computer science and coding and all that. At that time, I was thinking I wanted to do a science fair project,” he said.

He said he wanted to see if he could use his knowledge of math and computer science to potentially help with fighting wildfires in B.C.

“My original idea revolved around could be to possibly harness the energy that’s dissipated by these wildfires,” he explained. “But then I started researching more into wildfires and I found that drones are becoming pretty useful tools for firefighters to use when they’re attacking wildfires.

“I decided, let’s automate drones using machine learning and object detection, which is recognizing fire in the video footage of drones.”

From there, Robin said he contacted fire departments in B.C. and Silicon Valley “because their drone usage is more advanced just because of the tech over there.”

“In B.C., they use it more for monitoring purposes after the fire is mostly under control, to locate hot spots, to check the fire front and see if the fire is being properly contained,” he said.

“Projects like these or ideas like these really need continual development, so it’s not just one thing and you’re finished. They can always be upgraded, new features can be added, so it’s going to be more of a longer development process.”

Robin said automation “is a pretty difficult process, and I realized that traditional… techniques won’t necessarily work, so I decided to go into the artificial intelligence and machine learning route.”

“What you essentially do is train machine learning models to recognize objects in its field of view, so I trained the drone — or specifically the program that the drone runs on — to perceive the fire in its video feed,” he said.

“I collected around 6,000 images of fire and then labelled all of them, ‘Here’s a fire in this image, here’s a fire in this image’ and then I trained the model and after a while, the model performs better and better and better.”

Going forward, Robin said he plans to do some field testing this year before taking the project to fire departments in the province, adding there are still some improvements to be done.

“There’s extensive knowledge in firefighting in British Columbia, so… I’m seeing if I could get local fire departments could do some testing with the project I created.”



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

Surrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Robin Yadav, a Grade 12 student at Queen Elizabeth Secondary, created a project, “Deep Learning based Fire Recognition for Wildfire Drone Automation,” that uses machine learning and object detection to perform video-based fire recognition using a drone. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Just Posted

A past extreme weather response shelter set up for women inside Surrey’s Nightshift Street Ministries. (Photo: Chris Paul/nightshiftministries.org)
Homeless people in Surrey face ‘shocking and scary’ scenario this winter

Last winter there were nine Extreme Weather Response shelters in all of Surrey and White Rock. So far, during this pandemic, there are only five lined up for the coming winter

Highway 99 traffic flows under 24 Avenue in South Surrey Monday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
A cyclist crosses above Highway 99 on 24 Avenue Monday afternoon, Oct. 19. (Aaron Hinks photo)
Liberals promise new freeway interchanges for South Surrey

NDP candidate taking pre-election announcement ‘with heavy grain of salt’

File photo
Surrey Mounties seeking dash-cam footage of Whalley road rage fight

Two men are alleged to have stabbed one another

The RCMP helicopter. (File photo)
Suspect escapes after police pursuit through Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford

Police chase involved two stolen vehicles, including one taken in Mission

IIO Chief Civilian Director Ron MacDonald. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Police watchdog concludes Mounties didn’t shoot Fleetwood teen at strip mall

IIO finds tragic death of teenager ‘not the result of any actions or inactions’ by the Surrey RCMP

Conservative member of Parliament Pierre Poilievre speaks during a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on October 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Liberals say Tory effort to set up COVID-19 committee will be a confidence matter

The Tories were originally proposing an ‘anticorruption’ committee

A Rick Hansen Secondary School student died in hospital after suffering a medical incident in class on Monday. (File photo)
Abbotsford student dies after medical incident in class

Rick Hansen Secondary School offering additional counselling for students who require it

Investigators work at the Sagmoen farm in Silver Creek. - Image credit: Observer file photo.
Sex workers allegedly called to farm of Okanagan man convicted of assault, RCMP investigating

Curtis Sagmoen, convicted in relation to assault of sex trade workers, is prohibited from soliciting escorts

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Black Press Media files)
Early voters more likely to favour NDP, but overall B.C. election is tightening: poll

According to Elections BC, 383,477 people cast a ballot during advanced voting days

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Pixabay)
Wave of racist emails ‘unleashed’ on B.C. researchers investigating racism in health care

The team has received close to 600 calls and emails since the investigation started in July

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Most Read