GoMicro, based in Tonsley Innovation District, have developed an artificial intelligence microscope that has previously been used in a kit to diagnose leishmaniasis in war-torn nations, on farms to identify pests, and in schools as a teaching tool. Now being tested to grade tuna for consumption in Sri Lanka, it combines a mobile phone microscope attachment with an AI suite that is able to recognise patterns and objects with a fraction of the number of photos usually required.
GoMicro founder and CEO Sivam Krish said that their AI microscopy tool had impressed an investor in Sri Lanka because it had the ability to grade seafood, such as tuna, with a database of hundreds of photos, instead of tens of thousands.
“We now have an investment from a star investor Jeevan Gnanam in Sri Lanka, so we formed a fully owned subsidiary there to do our software development,” Krish said.
Gnanam introduced GoMicro to John Keells Holdings PLC, the largest conglomerate in Sri Lanka, and the owner of supermarket chains, to help them assess vegetable quality, but tuna assessment was a bigger challenge.
“While it is easy to differentiate really good tuna from really bad tuna, it is difficult to differentiate good tuna from not-too-good tuna.
“It’s a 12-year apprenticeship to train a tuna expert, so this is a problem in the edge of human assessment,” Krish said.
Using the GoMicro technology, warehouse staff can simply use their phones to take a photo of the tuna before the AI-supported app quickly determines a grade so they can label it and send it to the appropriate store.
Spun out of the New Venture Institute at Flinders University, GoMicro is able to develop this grading database quickly because it has solved the problem of bad lighting that often hinders photo databases by optically engineering the lens and building a diffuser into the tech.
“It is not all about magnification, it is about the quality of the images,” Krish said.
GoMicro uses advanced manufacturing technologies to manufacture the microscopes and the Tensorflow AI engine developed by Google to make predictions.
Being tested at Colombo supermarkets, the technology is planned to roll out to the chain’s 100 stores in Sri Lanka.
Krish said the AI system could easily be adapted to other seafood as well as fruit and vegetables and their business plan was to sell subscriptions to the system.
If you would like to join our community of innovative start-ups in SA, check out our commercial accommodation options and see if your business is a fit for Tonsley Innovation District.