Articles, Blog

Esben Beck – Lasers and AI for healthier salmon (ceremony)

Here we can see a lot of salmon swimming by
our lasers having their lice removed. They keep coming back and back all the time
so they probably like it. The total cost of fighting sea lice in Norway
is between 1 and 1.5 bn Euros each year. Optical delousing, which is my invention,
solves this sea lice problem without having to use any chemicals and it also provides
better fish welfare. Our system uses stereo-cameras, a powerful
laser source and very fast mirrors to direct the laser beam and once our software recognizes
a sea louse on a salmon swimming by, we shoot it with a laser. We only have a few milliseconds; we are using
our own algorithms, neural networks and artificial intelligence to recognize the sea lice. Back in 2008, 2009 my engineering company
started to note the effects of the financial crisis. Being a supplier to the oil and gas industry
was not easy at that time and I decided to look for other businesses. I cannot tell you where the idea came from,
it just came out of the blue once I learned about the sea lice. We went to the local store, bought a salmon
and we tried to stick the sea lice on to the salmon and we had a borrowed laser that we
fired on the sea lice and we saw that the lice was killed and then we knew we got something. As an inventor one of the most motivational
factors is when people tell you: this can´t be done. That starts a fire inside the head of an inventor
and you want to show that yes, this can be done. It´s been a long, a tough project, but now
we have come to a point where we have happy employees, happy customers, happy consumers
and most important at all “happy salmon”.

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