MINI UAV-BASED LITTER DETECTION ON RIVER BANKS
Keywords: Litter, Plastic, Deep Learning, Object detection, Mini-UAV
Abstract. Most of the anthropic pollution arriving to seas and oceans is carried by rivers, leading to a dramatic impact on the aquatic flora and fauna. Hence, several strategies have already been considered to reduce the use of plastic (and non biodegradable) objects, fostering recycling, detect litter in the environment, and catch it. This work aims at implementing a litter detection approach usable also in urban areas, hence considering a mini-UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) in order to reduce the issues related to flight restrictions. The implemented strategy exploits a high resolution map of the area of interest, a properly trained deep learning litter object detector, and a vision based localization system, which allows to remarkably reduce the positioning error of the UAV navigation system, in order to provide estimates of the litter object positions with an accuracy at decimeter level for objects not too far from locations recognizable in the map.