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Konica Minolta Accelerates Deployment of Remote Monitoring Solution for Disaster Risk MitigationStarting PoC Demonstration of AI-based Reservoir Monitoring Solution in Cooperation with the Nagano Prefectural Government

November 30, 2023

Tokyo (November 30, 2023) – Konica Minolta, Inc. (Konica Minolta) has been accelerating efforts to deploy its remote monitoring solution for disaster risk mitigation. As part of this, the Company started a Proof of Concept (PoC) demonstration of its AI-based reservoir monitoring solution at the Nanamagari Pond in Nagano Prefecture in cooperation with the Nagano Prefectural Government. Nagano Prefecture is located in the central region of Japan.

Ensuring Social Safety and Security

With the recent increase in disaster risk due to climate change, there is a growing demand to solve social issues and ensure safety and security by promoting digital transformation (DX). Konica Minolta aims to contribute to the safety of communities that are prepared for emergencies by offering a remote monitoring solution utilizing highly durable and reliable edge devices, ICT and AI-based image analysis systems, while addressing five material issues including “ensuring social safety and security” through its business activities.

Konica Minolta’s remote monitoring solution can identify the situation of rivers and reservoirs in real time by analyzing images captured by all-weather AI cameras and data from water-level gauges (water flood sensors), and send this real-time information before flooding occurs to a smartphone app through 4G or other communication means, thus making it possible to notify local government staff and citizens of imminent danger in real time, help evacuation during emergencies, and support the development of business continuity plan (BCP) management structure. By monitoring rivers and reservoirs continuously on a daily basis, the solution also allows users to check the deterioration of ancillary facilities, and can send an alert when AI detects a child entering a prohibited area and is at risk of falling into water, or when someone is dumping waste illegally. The solution thus contributes to social safety and security.

PoC Demonstration Conducted in Cooperation with the Nagano Prefectural Government

Of the 690 agricultural reservoirs designated for disaster prevention in Nagano Prefecture, 149 are equipped with water-level gauges and surveillance cameras, but these are prone to failure due to heavy snow and freezing temperatures. Other problems include the malfunction of water-level sensors when displaced or damaged when hit by an animal, and the difficulty of maintaining these devices at reservoirs in mountainous and other isolated areas.

A reservoir in a mountainous area

The PoC demonstration of Konica Minolta’s reservoir monitoring solution is slated to be conducted from November 9, 2023 to March 31, 2024, during which period the real-time situation of the Nanamagari Pond based on water-level data and remotely-captured live images will be monitored at the Nagano Prefectural Government office about 20 km away. The purpose of the PoC demonstration is twofold.

1) To develop a system that can work reliably in cold conditions with heavy snow

  • To ensure the system works stably without failing even in the climate of Nagano Prefecture
  • To ensure that water levels can be measured correctly by AI-based image analysis to avoid the risk caused by failure of physical sensors

2) To ensure the real-time situation can be monitored appropriately

  • To ensure that remote monitoring by live images is effective even under stormy weather or when the water level suddenly changes

Konica Minolta entered into a DX strategic partnership agreement with the Nagano Prefectural Government in December 2020 and has since helped them improve the workflow within the government office mainly in the DX field.

Features of Konica Minolta’s Remote Monitoring Solution

Konica Minolta has developed workflow solutions for ensuring safety and security based on monitoring by combining imaging technology, whose core is image input and output and image processing, with the decentralized processing IP cameras and video management systems (VMSs) of its group company, MOBOTIX AG (MOBOTIX).

MOBOTIX’s surveillance video system used in the remote monitoring solution features highly durable camera main units which can withstand harsh conditions and also capture images clearly at night and day, making the system ideal for outdoor applications, such as monitoring water levels in rivers and reservoirs.

Live images with enhanced clarity provided by Konica Minolta’s remote monitoring solution allow users to check the situation of rivers and reservoirs more closely, while the AI built into the camera main units can detect the early signs of a disaster and help government staff issue evacuation instructions before the disaster strikes. At normal times, the solution is effective for: preventing accidental falls into water; preventing and recording illegal dumping of waste which pollutes the environment; and prioritizing ancillary facilities to be maintained and inspected based on data.

Konica Minolta remains committed to ensuring social safety and security by working to solve various social issues and meet the demands of society.