Week 34-Week 44, 2018 We tested the UWB and vision system in Röbäcksdalen.
Purpose and Aims

WP3 from AnimalSense Project

Original text:

WP3 Indoor animal tracking and behaviour analysis

In modern dairy farming there is a need to individually monitor feed intake, motility (cow traffic), reproduction (heat detection) and animal behaviour and health. In this work package a system for positioning and activity tracking will be developed. Here a wireless sensor device for animal positioning will be developed. This sensor node will be based on the new radio technology, Ultra Wide Band (UWB). This technology can calculate the distance between sender and receiver down to a precision of about 30 centimetres. To get the position of the animal three or more base stations containing UWB receiver has to be deployed in the area where the position of animal is being tracked. This will make a system where we can get high localisation precision and also a simple infrastructure. This system will be combined with computer vision analysis from visual camera system to measure the individual animal’s motion pattern. The tracking system could be combined with individual activity monitors adjusted to the size of small ruminants in order to document individual behaviour, activity level and location at the same time. The system will be deployed in a commercial dairy farm in Österbotten in collaboration with ProAgria. The system will also be deployed in Sweden in a research farm and in a sheep barn at NIBIO in Tjötta to track and analyse the motion pattern of animals.

The studies will test updated UWB system with an optical system by Embedded System Lab (Umeå University) and Centria Yrkeshögskola to continuously register individual cow’s activity and record interaction behaviour during the experiment in research barn at Röbäcksdalen (SLU- Umeå). The project will:

Aim 1: Test the updated UWB system in the warm part of the loose house at SLU research farm. Deploy the optical systems to record and monitor the individual positions of cows, and their feeding, eating frequency and social interactions to highlight the importance of the social status and interaction between dairy cows. The project would come up with the feasibility of sensor and camera technology for on-line monitoring of individual animals.

Aim 2: Study the interactions and competition between animals of different social rank in the herd. The findings from this task would contribute to new recommendations for Swedish animal welfare design guidelines.