When recording photos and video from drone flights, a LOT of footage can be collected. It can be difficult and time-consuming to manually transfer the footage from the drone to an off-site data repository where it is safe. This becomes increasingly important with projects that require many drone pilots deployed in the field, with large volumes of data from multiple sources needing to go someplace safe.

We developed ‘DaBox’ as a portable device to automatically and securely upload drone footage to a remote server or cloud service. It is a simple-facing, yet clever device. The drone pilot inserts the drone’s storage card into DaBox and the imagery collected is automatically and securely transferred with data checkers. If recording high resolution data that takes a long time to transfer, DaBox can run on its own overnight, making the micro-SD card flight-ready for the next day - all without further interaction from the pilot. It has an easy-to-use touch screen so the pilot can monitor data transfers.

DaBox does all this automatically: all the pilot needs to do is insert the micro-SD card from the drone into DaBox. The video footage is then transferred securely and reliably to a cloud service. Once the footage has successfully been uploaded, DaBox will erase the copy on the micro-SD card so the pilot has plenty of space to use it the next day.

We are working to improve DaBox so that not only does it provide an easy way to upload in-field data to a central service or to the cloud, but through embedded detection AI it can also be used to greatly reduce the amount of data that needs to be uploaded. This is often the vast majority of data in animal detection applications where no animal of interest is detected. This reduces the bandwidth required for data transfer and saves on costs for storage of data long-term.

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