JumboNet

Who We Are

We are a group of researchers working on a solution to prevent the aggravation of Human Elephant Conflict (HEC) which exists in many parts of the world. Together we have formed JumboNet thus it comprises expertise from several different fields. Our aim is to provide a comprehensive scientific solution which comprises of state-of-the-art electronics and wireless communication.

What We Do

We research into the fields of communication and energy harvesting to form a truly batteryless network among elephants to facilitate real time monitoring. We work collaboratively to uplift the existing science of energy harvesting and wireless technology.

Motivation

Humans have been encroaching wildlife habitats to keep up with their land requirements and more land is acquired everyday to serve the increase in human population. This scenario is primarily the root cause for the Human Elephant Conflict (HEC) in Sri Lanka. The 1.2 million hectares of reserved protected area is insufficient to accommodate the 6000 Sri Lankan elephants which contribute to 10% of world elephant population. More than 70% this population reside outside protected areas. Such elephants are bound to engage in activities that cause conflict with humans.


HEC has affected human and elephant livelihood in an alarming fashion. Every year about 50 humans and 160 elephants die in Sri Lanka while a large area of cultivations are damaged due to this conflict. Such cultivations belong to underprivileged farmers who have risked most their resources to raise these crops. On the other hand, a study done by the Department of Wildlife and Conservation (DWLC) confirms that 65% of Sri Lankan elephant population has fallen since the turn of 19th Century. Researchers believe HEC has played a significant role in such a reduction. Currently there is no satisfactory solution to HEC. Although DWLC has introduced mechanisms such as electric fencing and translocation, the seriousness of the problem uprises everyday.


Recent literature by experienced scientists strongly highlight the importance of identifying elephant roaming patterns to formulate solutions to HEC. Collaring is the extensive method used to collect such data. Despite being the most common method to collect locomotion data Scientists also highlight the limitations of the same due to recurring satellite communication costs, frequent recharge efforts, low recency of updates and short lifetime (approx 2 yrs).


We believe these limitations can be addressed via a well researched solution. Our approach involves developing a collar that performs wireless tracking of elephants in real time without a need for recharging and recurring costs. We have identified multiple ways in which such a solution can contribute towards solving Human Elephant Conflict.


Our Projects


Linear Frictionless Electromagnetic Harvester

In pursuit of making the tracker units self sustained our recent effort was to develop a kinetic energy harvester which harvests energy from the motion of an elephant’s neck. The harvester was developed to extract electrical energy from an elephant’s natural motion to replenish the energy that’s constantly lost by the functioning of the tracking units. This type of a harvester would prove to be extremely useful in a network deployed in the wild as replacing batteries in a tracker unit mounted on a wild elephant could consume a large amount of time and resource.

Gathering Motion Data of Elephants

This project was carried out to gather motion data of an elephant to evaluate the feasibility of performing kinetic energy harvesting on the same. This project logged several million records of motion data in terms of gyroscopic and linear acceleration. This dataset was later used to optimize and validate the performance of the kinetic harvester.

A Wireless Protocol for Elephants

In progress.

Our Team

Malitha Wijesundara

Dean - Education and Student Experience at Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology

Dr. Malitha Wijesundara is the Dean of Education and Student Experience at Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology. Dr. Wijesundara obtained his Bachelor of Engineering degree with Honours in Electronic Engineering from University of Warwick, United Kingdom in 1998 and he obtained his PhD from Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering from National University of Singapore in 2005.

Wendi Heinzelman

Professor & Dean at the Edmund A. Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at University of Rochester

Prof. Heinzelman is a full professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Rochester (UoR). She received a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University in 1995 and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 1997 and 2000, respectively. She is currently the Dean of the Edmund A. Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at UoR.

Cristiano Tapperello

Research Associate at University of Rochester

Dr. Cristiano Tapparello received the B.Sc. and the M.Sc. Degree (with honors) in Computer Engineering from University of Padova (Italy) in 2005 and 2008, respectively. He received the Ph.D. in Information Engineering from the same university in 2012. He is currently a Research Associate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Rochester.

Thomas Howard

Assistant Professor at University of Rochester

Prof. Howard earned a PhD in robotics from the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in 2009 in addition to BS degrees in electrical and computer engineering and mechanical engineering from the University of Rochester in 2004. He is now an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Computer Science at University of Rochester

Amalinda Gamage

Research Assistant at Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology

Amalinda received a B.Eng. degree in Electronics by the Sheffield Hallam University,UK in 2014. He is now a Research Assistant and a Visiting Lecturer at Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology and University of Vocational Technology respectively.

Yadhavan Gokulan

Instructor at Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology

Yadhavan received a B.Eng. degree in Electronics by the Sheffield Hallam University,UK in 2014. He is now an Instructor at Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology.

Support

This research is facilitated by







This research was funded in part by the National Science Foundation under research grant CNS-1239423.