Aquatic Data Collection

  SIDI Technical Description

Introduction (Top) This project consisted of collecting,  designing and integrating tools to measure fish. 

The tools consisted of electronic calipers, balance, machine vision and voice plus other devices. 

We wanted to have a collection of tools for systematics, aquaculture and fishing environments.  All the tools have their advantages and disadvantages and the users must evaluate their needs and requirements. The author supports all efforts and work designed to increase our environmental information base, especially in fisheries and aquatic environments.  The material and configuration described herein are provided as a suggestion, it is not complete list and the author does not recommend or favor any methods or products.   The objective is to automate processing. If you are using other equipment, options, techniques, or have other ideas, please contact me.

Configuration(Top) There are two basic methods for collecting data :  measure in the field or measure in the laboratory.  Measure in the field The basic configuration is a device (i.e. caliper, balance, etc.) connect to a computer (i.e. data logger) which transmit a value (upon user command, timed interval, etc.) to a computer where software (i.e. data wedge)  monitors and transmits the value to the application program (i.e. database, word processor, spreadsheet, etc.).  Other examples exist, i.e. recording voice dictated measurements onto a audio cassette and then later, in the laboratory using a computer and voice recognition to automatically convert the spoken numbers into data. Measure in the Laboratory Usually entails bring collected specimens to the laboratory.    An other configuration consisted of a video camera which filmed specimens who were latter measured in the laboratory using machine vision.

Calipers   (Top) For laboratory systematics, calipers connected to a database / spreadsheet   for automatic data entry save time, increases productivity, better measurements, real-time data (indicate additional measurements required for statistical studies).   On site processing -> data communication to center (co-ordinate activities).   Laboratory use is much more suited to calipers.  Calipers work on electronic strips, mechanical cogs and their industrial protection level is low.   Meaning they’re not resistant in harsh environments such as : fish slime, scales, salty, marine environments while they’re difficult to clean.  The cables and their connections are often fragile and not resistance to repeated jerks, strains and sharp pulls while the cables always seem to be in the way..  The caliper, using a push button or foot pedal and connects to a computer via a cable or infrared transmission system which enters data directly into the machine.   Calipers usually connects to the RS232 ports and with a software “Wedge” product the data from serial port is  placed  into the current data field.    

Balance(Top) Balance work on the same principle as calipers.  Balances are more suited to a variety of environments but have limited possibilities in unstable conditions (i.e. boats, floating cages, etc.).  

Bar Code Measuring  Systems  (Top) Fish meter using board with bar codes glued to it and a portable bar code reader.  By passing the wand over a bar code the user selects species, date or other pre-programmed information associated with bar code.

Camera(Top) Video 8 camera’s with water proof housing are an interesting tool.  They record both images and sounds and are non-intrusive.   Later, images of fish can be paused, captured to a computer, individual can be measured or classify by the computer, lots of fish can be manually or automatically counted quickly and accurately.   Compass  (Top) Although I have yet to find one, a large compass like the diagram could provide a simple put efficient device for measuring fish in ports, on beaches,  

Data loggers  (Top) In the field use, water & shock proof.   Data entry / recording, communication with other computer, sensors, software, etc.  

Arcom,   Hand held ProductsUltec,

Software Data Wedge  (Top) Data wedges are programs which receive data from a peripheral device (i.e. serial port) and place the data into an application (i.e. spread sheet, data base, text editor, etc.).
TAL Software Wedge
Voice to data  (Top) This material consists of recording fish measurements to a audio cassette.   Then, latter in a laboratory, using a voice recognition system to convert the voice measurements to data. The problems associated with this configuration are training voice recognition system to recognize each user’s voice and the elimination of background noises.  An advantage is the use of a headset / microphone which frees both hands and in non-encumbrance.

Machine Vision & Computer Vision  (Top) The difference between machine and computer vision is that machine vision is a machine while computer vision is more laboratory and experimental.   Certain applications require a machine while other requires a computer, application development and software tools. Our application consisted of filming with a video 8 camera and then latter, measuring the fish using machine vision. 

Conclusion  (Top)