The MoniCow project aims to develop an energy-efficient wireless monitoring system for livestock farmers. The system will allow them not only to locate their dairy cattle in real time, but also to monitor down to the smallest detail some aspects of their health and reproduction. These are key advantages in their efforts to manage the dairy farm of the future in a sustainable way.
Growing Dairy Farms, Growing Information Needs
Flemish dairy farms keep getting bigger. With larger herds it is becoming increasingly difficult for farmers to spot the health problems of individual cows in time. This is something that is also costing dairy farmers a pretty penny… The costs for every udder infection that is detected too late rise up to a hefty 150 euro. And a missed oestrus or undetected lameness bears a price tag of 250 euro. In short, every growing dairy farm could optimize its economic management by monitoring health indicators in real time.
Sensors for Comprehensive Data Collection
The MoniCow project aims to develop an advanced sensor, location tracking and data management system for cattle monitoring. The system uses sensors placed on the animals’ bodies to locate the dairy cows, whether in the shed or pastures. It also collects and processes the multiple health indicators in real time, from eating and drinking behaviour to body temperature and even data on general movements. The measured indicators are also combined to gain even better insights.
A Powerful yet Energy-Efficient Data System
Ease of use is key. For example, a self-inductive power system has been developed in order to give the system a longer energy service life. Its super capacitors or rechargeable batteries supply the entirely wireless system with power, the body sensors included. What’s more, in emergency situations the system triggers a unique alarm for each animal, and it will have a mobile location tracking app.
The MoniCow prototypes will be thoroughly tested in the lab and in the field to check the power, energy efficiency, scalability and especially the precision of the system.
MoniCow aims to develop an automated data system for cattle monitoring and location tracking, which monitors advanced health parameters in real time, all that without compromising on energy efficiency.
- NXP Semiconductors België
- iMinds - IBCN - UGent
- iMinds - WiCa - UGent
- KU Leuven - DramCo
- Project lead: Filip Frederix
- Research lead: David Plets
- Program Manager: Steven Van Assche