Australian GoMicro develops AI tool for microscopic pests

7774GoMicro, a South Australian company has developed an AI diagnostics tool that combines a microscope and smartphone to deliver agtech solutions

The microscope has previously been used in a kit to diagnose leishmaniasis in war-torn nations as well as in schools as a teaching tool. It is now being tested as one part of an AI diagnostic package to identify anything that is visible but requires magnification.

According to Lead South Australia, the company which was spun out of the New Venture Institute at Flinders University, is looking to raise funds to commercialise the system, which has numerous potential applications across all industries.

Professor Rob Lewis, a company adviser and former head of the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), said that the GoMicro platform was an example of the successful integration of key technologies such as mobile, microscopy, machine learning and interpretive data analyses.

GoMicro CEO Sivam Krish said that the company was in the midst of proving the concept by identifying Queensland fruit flies, a pest that threatens South Australia’s US$1.25bn horticulture industry.

Through SARDI, Krish distributed 200 microscopes to farmers in South Australia and used the images they sent back to create a database for the machine-learning engine to compare.

The quality of the images, according to Krish, significantly reduced the number of images the AI engine needed to achieve 90 per cent accuracy in tests to determine if a fly was male or female, which enables scientists to track breeding.

Krish said that the testing was underway on cloud and app interfaces as potential methods to share the field data with the AI engine and provide users with advice and solutions to their pest problems.

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