Workshop 6 – Roadmapping the future development of low-cost open-source acoustic platforms & AudioMoth Demo

When: Wednesday 9:45pm to 12:30pm

Organisers: Dr José Lahoz-Monfort (U. Melbourne; SCB Conservation Technology Working Group), Andy Hill, Peter Prince (U. Southampton, UK; Open Acoustic Devices)

New approaches to designing and manufacturing technology, including open-source hardware and software, allow the collaborative development of low-cost devices for ecology and conservation. This workshop will explore the uses, needs and priorities of the ecoacoustics community in terms of device functionality and accessibility (e.g. extended battery life, running detection algorithms on-device, long-distance communication…). Through a mix of presentations and participative activities, we will document what is important to you, eliciting a wish list of functionalities and their relative priorities. The information gathered in this workshop will contribute to creating a roadmap towards a future low-cost acoustic platform, an open document to inspire anyone interested in developing acoustic monitoring devices.

We will take the AudioMoth acoustic device as a starting point for discussion. AudioMoth, developed by Andy Hill and Peter Prince (U. Southampton) with computer scientist Prof Alex Rogers (U. Oxford), was presented in 2018 (Hill et al.). It is fully open-source (software and hardware designs are freely available for others to modify and improve) and designed for low energy consumption, making it ideal for long-term deployment. It is low-cost (~A$80 incl. batteries, memory card and case) and it can be programmed to run real-time detection algorithms which expand its functionality without additional hardware costs. It is the first time that this combination of features (low cost, open-source, programmable, long battery life) is available for terrestrial PAM, effectively opening the door for acoustic monitoring programs based on 100s (instead of 10s) of units used at a scale never seen before. Plans are in place to grow AudioMoth into an extended open-source acoustic platform, so understanding the needs of the ecoacoustics community is an essential input to its future development.

We would also like to give people an opportunity to meet the researchers behind AudioMoth. We propose a half-day drop-in session where we will be available to discuss AudioMoth and answer questions. There will be hardware demos.