Drone and Machine learning (artificial intelligence) to combat plastic pollution in rivers

Live Session 5: May 27 14:00-16:00 (GMT+7)


Recently a novel approach such as using a combination of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) surveys and image processing based on machine learning is being applied for assessment and monitoring for plastic pollution. Many activities have been carried out to study plastic pollution situation which is mostly based on in-situ manual observations like the plastic waste amount and composition survey. The survey has some challenging issues including time-consuming, the requirement of larger human resources, and the risk for human errors. The CounterMEASURE project has conducted the trial for the purpose to detect mechanically plastic product type and amount from the aerial image of the riverbed taken by using a drone.


The session shall provide the possibilities and challenges of the new tool and approach (drone and machine learning) to apply for the plastic leakage monitoring and assessment.


The session shall cover the following topics:

  • The use case of the drone survey with machine learning as a use case

  • The lessons learnt from the trial of CounterMEASURE project

  • Recent study result for plastic debris volumes estimation by using UAV and image processing based on deep learning

What to Learn

The participants will learn the current status of use cases of a combination of UAV surveys and image processing based on machine learning for plastic pollution as a tool for plastic leakage assessment and monitoring. In addition, the session can contribute to add new options and insights for participants to tackle the plastic pollution


Click photo to see the bio


Yoshikazu Miwa

Researcher, Pirika Inc


Shin’ichiro Kako

Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Department of Ocean Civil Engineering, Kagoshima University


Dan Tran

Team Leader (Disaster), Senior Research Specialist, Geoinformatics Center (GIC), Asian Institute of Technology

Registration (Open Webex page)


Current trend of drone and UAV for plastic detection (Presentation Slide)

Aerial Image Analysis Survey in Mekong River (Presentation Slide)

Aerial Image Analysis Survey in Mekong River (Survey Report)

Live Session Record