We catch up with Andre Cheung, Founder & CEO of Robotics Cats, who will be speaking at the World AI Cannes event on February 9 to 11 February 2023. See more about the event here.
1 min pitch for what you are doing now?
Hi, I am Andre, Founder & CEO of Robotics Cats. We mitigate wildfire problems by early detection using AI and cameras.
With Climate Change, there are more and bigger wildfires, in even more places. If we respond late and the wildfire becomes too big, there is little we can do. We saw last summer wildfire disasters in southern France.
We need a systemic change to rapidly detect and respond to wildfires. Therefore we build the world’s first AI wildfire detection software as a service that everyone can use today on their surveillance cameras.
Using AI to tackle wildfire problems, Andre Cheung
We are now serving governments, forestry, energy companies, and property owners in 13 countries.
It is my pleasure to join the WACIF, share with particpants our journey apply AI to mitigate the global wildfire problem, and learn the latest AI development from other speakers. Together, we can do more.
How was the last year, what worked well, what didn’t move as quickly as you would have liked?
We took part in my startup programs in Europe and US last year, we met many good mentors and partners. The business was slow in general, due to both the pandemic and Ukraine war. Before the pandemic, 80% of my team worked in the same office. Now we 100% work from home and use co-working space for in-person discussion.
What are your plans for the future?
2023 will be a challenging year for startups with the fear of recession in multiple economies. We will prioritize our resources on a few geo-markets to optimize the results. From a resource perspective, we prefer outsourcing first before rather than increase staff headcount. That said, we will invest more in our SaaS product develop to accelerate its growth.
[#WAICF23 GYT D-3] ?
Last days to get your ticket for #WAICF ! This will be an opportunity for you to attend 70 conferences, 120 workshops and much more!
? See you on February 9-11 !
— World AI Cannes Festival (@WAICANNES) February 6, 2023
What will you be talking about at this event?
We will share the motivation we developed the world’s first AI wildfire detection SaaS. It was not because our major customer segment – the government agency – asked for it. We did it because we believed we need to empower everyone to work together to mitigate wildfire problem!
What inspired you to attend it?
WAICF is one of the most popular AI event in France and Europe!
What are your plans for the future?
We will focus on our SaaS product line and the APAC and European markets.
Which influencers and websites do you follow to keep up to date with the latest developments?
How can people find out more about what you are working on?
Governments alone are not enough to solve the wildfire (climate change) problem. We need everyone to engage and contribute.
I would like to share with you an incident last Tuesday. One of our customers, WWF Hong Kong, detected a nighttime wildfire outbreak on a hilltop 7km away:
The wildfire burned for about 12 hours and was extinguished in Wednesday morning by firefighters.
The interesting thing is the AI system deployed in Mai Po Nature Reserve managed by WWF Hong Kong is for R&D purpose! Mai Po is a wetland area and is a popular habitat for waterbirds. We partner with WWF Hong Kong to explore using AI to detect specific bird species.
We don’t expect there will be wildfire inside the Mai Po wetland area. That said, we enable AI wildfire detection on some camera views that can see far away mountains. And the system detected a wildfire two days ago in a 12c cold and windy winter evening in Hong Kong. The detection helped the people living on the other side on mountain got early awareness of the wildfire.
World AI Cannes takes place, French Riviera – 9 to 11 February 2023
You can book their tickets here (online & in person) : https://worldaicannes.com/register
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