World’s first “cloud observation automation” system development order

​Aiming to solve problems in ship meteorological observation with the world’s first images taken on board and AI

To the press

October 5, 2017
Kobe Digital Labo Inc.
Banyan Partners Co., Ltd.

On October 5, 2017, Banyan Partners Inc., a subsidiary of Kobe Digital Labo Inc., jointly developed an “automatic observation and transmission system for marine meteorological observation” by SKY PerfecTV JSAT Co., Ltd. in collaboration with the national university corporation Kobe University.
As part of this, we are announcing that we have received an order to develop a system that automates the “cloud cover” and “cloud condition” that are currently visually observed on board ships using images taken on board and AI.

■Purpose of “cloud observation automation” system development

For general vessels, we are working to prevent accidents by quickly obtaining stormy weather information and other safety information on a global scale.
The meteorological observation data for that purpose is manually measured and transmitted by the crew from the ship.
The development of this system automates the amount and state of clouds, which are weather observation items that require visual inspection and are not practically used for observation with equipment, using images taken on board and artificial intelligence.
This is the world’s first initiative aimed at improving accuracy and improving work efficiency.

Screen sample under development
<Screen under development>

■How to solve problems in this system

(1) Collect images of the sky including clouds taken by the spherical camera installed on the ship with a satellite line.
Based on the advice of the Graduate School of Maritime Sciences, Kobe University, analyze images with AI.
The observation results of “cloud cover” and “cloud condition” specified by the Japan Meteorological Agency will be derived.
(2) We will formulate the specifications of the shooting equipment and shooting specifications to enable the derivation of observation results by AI.
(3)In order to efficiently evaluate, improve accuracy, and utilize observation results, we will build an interface that realizes “sky image” input, “classification results”, and “total cloud cover measurement values” using WebAPI.

Under development screen sample
<System overview>

■Functions to achieve

The performance that we aim to achieve by the end of March 2018, which is the first phase, is as follows.
(1)The target of the correct answer rate is as follows.
◎ Cloud cover 90% or more ◎ Cloud type 70% or more (We will continue to verify for improvement from the next fiscal year onward)
(2) We will formulate the specifications of the shooting equipment to be mounted on the ship and the shooting specifications (shooting range, direction, angle of view, frequency, etc.) in the next fiscal year.
(3) From the next fiscal year onward, we will build a foundation with functions for development and verification to further improve the correct answer rate.

■What the system is aiming for

By constructing this system, we aim to reduce the burden on seafarers, improve the accuracy of weather forecasts, and contribute to safe voyages.

■Development of automatic observation / transmission system for marine meteorological observation” project development

This system development was adopted as a support target project of the “Advanced Ship Technology R & D Support Project” of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism undertaken by Shosen Mitsui Co., Ltd., Furuno Electric Co., Ltd. and SKY PerfecTV JSAT Co., Ltd. and joint research with the Japan Maritime Association. It will be implemented as part of the “Development of Automatic Observation / Transmission System for Marine Meteorological Observation” project.


In developing this system, we refer to the “Guidelines for Ship Meteorological Observation” and “Guide for Report on Ship Meteorological Observation Tables and Report on Ship Meteorological Report” issued by the Japan Meteorological Agency.

【Company Profile】

Company name: Kobe Digital Labo Inc.
Representative: Ichiro Nagayoshi, President and CEO
Location: (Headquarters) Shin Kuresento Building, 72 Kyomachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture 650-0034
(Tokyo Office) Humax Ebisu Building, 1-1-1 Ebisu Minami, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0022
Established: October 1995
Capital: 29.95 million yen

Company name: Banyan Partners Inc.
Representative: Representative Director Fumio Tsuri
Location: (Headquarters) Shin Kuresento Building 5F, 72 Kyomachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0034
Established: October 10, 2014
Capital: 20 million yen

[Contact for inquiries regarding this matter] * We will respond to interviews at any time. Please feel free to contact us.

Kobe Digital Labo Inc.
Person in charge: Public Relations Office
Keiko Matsumaru
TEL :078-327-2280

Banyan Partners Inc.
Person in charge: Representative Director
Fumio Tsuri
TEL :078-600-2720

[Contact for inquiries regarding this matter] * We will respond to interviews at any time. Please feel free to contact us.