Updated: Sep 9, 2021
We’ve forged a powerful new partnership with Clark Atlanta University (CAU) to accelerate our research and development. Thanks to nearly $150,000 in funding from the National Science Foundation, we’re gaining valuable support from CAU faculty and students in the Cyber-Physical Systems Department.
“I shall find a way or make one.”
CAU’s motto, which inspires students to embrace innovation and self-reliance, reminds me of our values at The Bee Corp. We weren’t satisfied with the methods used to evaluate hives for pollination, so we decided to build our own.
Our collaboration with CAU will focus on refining our understanding of thermal drift, a complex concept in infrared (IR) imagery. Creating a more precise method to compensate for thermal drift will allow us to improve the image capture process and expand Verifli into other fields. This project will provide CAU students an opportunity to gain real-world work experience, apply their math & physics knowledge and develop key professional skills.
Capturing quality IR images requires careful attention to detail on behalf of the photographer. Consistency is the key to capturing reliable IR images—the camera should be positioned at the same distance, height and angle for each photo. While that’s simple enough to produce in a controlled setting, it’s very difficult when you’re imaging thousands of hives with a handheld camera over the course of several hours.
Currently, our data science team visually reviews each image before sending them to our analysis pipeline. Poor quality images must be manually corrected, impacting how quickly we can deliver reports to customers. Through this project, CAU students will process data to create standard operating procedures for camera setup and image capture, with the goal of mitigating delays caused by inconsistent images. By improving methods for image capture, we can reduce the manual workload for our back-end team and deliver hive strength reports sooner.
As we benefit from having more brains dedicated to improving Verifli, CAU students involved in this project will have a chance to apply their data analysis and mathematical skills to a unique real-world application. Most of the funding for this project is earmarked for compensating students for their work. Thanks to funding from NSF, we’re proud to provide opportunities for underrepresented communities in STEM, helping to bridge the education and pay gap as well.
We’re hopeful that this opportunity will help to carve a niche for Black/POC students in the emerging field of thermal drift research. We aim to help students hone their skills, build confidence and prepare them to enter job market after graduation. Fostering diversity and inclusion is critical to our field of work, and we’re honored to be able to make an impact.
We’re grateful to NSF and CAU for this collaboration opportunity to improve our product. It’s a privilege to contribute to the university’s renowned research program. We chose to become a benefit corporation because we feel strongly about leveraging our company to create a positive social impact. We aim to provide a platform for young Black and POC scientists to demonstrate the value they can bring to future employers. Together, we shall find a way or make one.