Monitoring fish species to keep track of their population growth and general health is vitally important, particularly for endangered species. Current methods accomplish this through the primitive “capture and release” method which can be invasive, and even harmful, to the fish being monitored. There is ongoing research to conduct noninvasive monitoring with stereo computer vision, as seen below. However, this method has been very difficult to execute not only because of the noise and inaccuracies inherent in the system, but also because of the bulkiness and lack of real-time feedback.

Courtesy of California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigation.

We are developing a device that, like the stereo camera system, monitors fish from a distance, but we are utilizing LIDAR technology to enhance accuracy and reduce size. The Intel RealSense L515 camera combines infrared depth imaging and traditional RGB color imaging to construct a 3D picture in real time. Together, with collaborators from Scripps Institute of Oceanography, we hope to validate the effectiveness of this technology and open up this field to high resolution, short range 3D imaging.

The Intel RealSense L515.

We are currently designing a prototype handheld depth imaging platform that will enable amateur citizen science divers to collect professional grade data. If you wish to learn more about this project, contact Peter Tueller at