Internet of things (IoT)
  • IoT-Based Pest Control
  • A handful of companies are using connected technology to keep track of pest populations. There is, for instance, Semios, which uses sensors and machine vision technology to track pest populations in orchards, vineyards, and other agricultural settings. And then there is IoT Box Systems, a company that makes connected bait stations, traps, and cages that inform the user when they have caught an animal.

  • Optimizing the Power Grid
  • General Electric has been touting the benefits of creating an “Electricity Value Network,” in which digitization creates allows for visualization across the entire electricity system. A great example is Bord Gáis Energy’s Whitegate power plant, a 445-MW gas combined-cycle plant 25 miles east of Cork, Ireland. There are 141 sensors across the plant that provide round-the-clock monitoring and diagnostics of existing hardware. Whitehouse engineers receive operational recommendations through the software and data analytics, and also get a single, consolidated picture of Whitehouse’s performance. The system provides more early warnings, and improved efficiency when it came to using natural gas. Additional advanced controls from GE have also enabled improved performance for the fleet of GE turbines at the Whitehouse. The result has been a €2.28 million (around $2.43 million) positive financial impact at the plant.

  • Using Drones to Help Save the Rainforest
  • The Amazon Basin Conservation Association’s Los Amigos conservancy concession has started using small remotely controlled planes to monitor 550 square miles of Peruvian Amazon for illegal logging and mining, according to NPR. The drones will allow the handful of rangers to quickly investigate reports of deforestation, a major improvement over having to travel into remote parts of the jungle over unpaved roads.