Tech

Fitbit for Cows: CSIRO helping Aussie farmers track cattle

It might not seem a big deal to us city-folk, but understanding properly the movements of your cattle is a big deal for farmers, so this innovation from the CSIRO has the chance to do big things for Aussie farmers.

The tracker, which is designed as a smart ear tag – gives farmers similar data to the smart watches we are seeing grow in population in society.

But rather than tracking your kids location after school, this tracker will allow farmers to know where their herds are grazing, know if there has been an animal separated from the herd and look for unusual movement patterns which could indicate a sick animal.

The data alone could be enormously powerful in creating efficiency for farmers, but the cost saving and time savings in using a tag tracker as opposed to using vehicles or aircraft has huge potential.

David Smith, CEO of Ceres Tag, said: “Ceres Tag gives greater transparency over grazing management, allowing farmers to locate and monitor their animals to reduce risk and operating costs, improve efficiency and assist with traceability”.

“The tag is GPS-enabled, allowing farmers to track the location of individual animals remotely, via Internet of Things (IoT) capability,” he added.

“Aussie farmers need every bit of help they can get right now so we are pleased it has taken less than a year for this technology to move from the research phase into development for a real-world trial on cattle,” Dr Ed Charmley, Group Leader at CSIRO said.

“Our focus for future iterations is to create a smaller and lighter tag, as well as added functionality such as a temperature sensor, which could alert farmers to illnesses at an earlier stage.”

Having tested the basic version, the CSIRO now sets out to make the device much smaller, and use their data analytics arm Data61 to build out software solutions to further analyse the data gathered.

While the specifications of the tag were not released by the CSIRO, EFTM’s analysis of the photos and video provided leads us to believe the tags have built in mobile connections, which will likely benefit from future 5G advances, as well as GPS and also a small solar panel to ensure long life in the field.

What a cracking great innovation, as Aussie as WiFi:)

 

Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.

He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.

Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.

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Fitbit for Cows: CSIRO helping Aussie farmers track cattle
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