2022 | Environment | Excellent | SDG13 | SDG14 | SDG15 | United States
Sentinel – Smart AI for Wildlife Conservation

Company or Institution

Conservation X Labs






United States

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

SDG 13: Climate Action

SDG 14: Life Below Water

SDG 15: Life on Land

General description of the AI solution

Technological advances in environmental monitoring have enhanced our understanding of the world, but there is no solution that delivers real-time information that can be acted on immediately, from anywhere. Advancing artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and machine learning (ML) for monitoring our planet’s most sensitive habitats can address related environmental issues; however, there are enormous technical barriers. The tools that capture information from the environment are typically ineffective, expensive, and time-consuming. Environmental protection requires technologies that are intuitive and will scale rapidly to maximize conservation impact.

In response to this challenge, Conservation X Labs (CXL) developed Sentinel, an AI system that encompasses hardware devices and a software platform. Sentinel devices directly plug into existing environmental sensors (e.g. trail cameras and acoustic monitors), enabling them to run AI models that automatically detect rare, vulnerable, or invasive species and identify poachers or diseases. Users can capture real-time information for research, wildlife crime management, and environmental protection without reliance on the cloud or manual data collection. By processing data when it is captured and filtering critical knowledge for low-bandwidth communication, users receive valuable information in the form of near-instant messaging (i.e. SMS messages).

Sentinel is designed to work as an end-to-end system for creating, deploying, and running on-device machine learning models with little to no technical expertise. To this end, Sentinel includes the Model Marketplace, an online software platform that allows users to browse pre-trained models much like Apple’s App Store, and create custom AI models to answer unique questions. AI models can be deployed to Sentinel devices in the field or run on a laptop with little to no technical experience. Sentinel is an original solution that leverages existing sensors and is affordable and easy to use.

Sentinel has been selected for use in a variety of unique projects around the world, including identifying rare jaguars in Costa Rica, informing rangers of suspicious poaching behavior in South Africa, and monitoring gorilla behavior in the Congo.









International Research Centre
on Artificial Intelligence (IRCAI)
under the auspices of UNESCO 

Jožef Stefan Institute
Jamova cesta 39
SI-1000 Ljubljana



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