Smart Bat Roosts

Why. To create an ultra low-power, energy harvesting IoT sensor that fits inside existing bat roosts and provides real-time information on roost occupancy.

What. When natural bat roosts are destroyed by construction and development works artificial bat roosts are usually installed as part of a mitigation plan. Ecologists will revisit the roosts over the next few years to see if bats have moved in, however this is a very manual and time consuming process with Ecologists often travelling many miles to remote locations to manually check inside the roosts, only to find that there are no bats or signs of bat activity. We developed low-power IoT sensors that can be retro-fitted to existing roosts and detect presence within. Sensor data is sent to the cloud where Ecologists can remotely monitor roost activity and more efficiently direct human resources (i.e. not sending people to check empty roosts). The sensors run on solar cells and use LPWAN networks to communicate sensor data meaning they can be placed in rural locations where there is little power or network infrastructure. The roost sensors are currently deployed at the Four Seasons Hotel Equestrian Centre in Hampshire.

How. Physical prototyping, digital fabrication, electronics, cloud computing

Who. In collaboration with Oguzhan Ozkilinc, Syed Hasan, James Hare, Gemma Turner, Jo Ferguson, Freya Johnson, Derick Hilado, Dorothy Tang, and Jesus Garcia Pajé. Thanks to the Four Seasons Hotel and Equestrian Centre staff for their help and support.