Happy Cows and Busy Bees

Wearable technology innovation is expanding to include humans, pets, and now livestock and honeybees! What types of wearables are available for livestock? Why do designers care to include cultivated animals into the realm of wireless data collection? Below we discuss four technological devices that can improve farmer’s knowledge of their roaming animals.

Silent Herdsman is designed for farmers to put on their cattle. It wraps around the neck, like a collar. Silent Herdsman monitors individual cow’s activity, allowing it to automatically detect changes in normal behavior. It does this by recognizing patterns in the cow’s daily life. Resulting in successful identification of dairy cows estrus cycle, as well as early recognition of illness.

MooMonitor+ provides 24 hours, seven days a week of cattle monitoring. Farmers can now always know their livestock’s health status. MooMonitor+ traces individual cows physiological wellness. This data can determine if the cow is ill or in heat. The producers of MooMonitor+ believe it to be highly useful to farmers. Their goal is to cut livestock costs by keeping the herd healthy.

Honeybees have proven to be a valuable asset to the vigor of Mother Nature. Research ecologist at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew have teamed up with Tumble Dice Ltd. Together they have successfully developed a technological method to gather more information about honeybees’ behavior. Hopefully the data collected can provide a solution to the decreasing honeybee population. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew uses micro-technology to track bee movements, and flower patch location. This new technology has not been used excessively in the wild. The idea is to place the trackers on bumblebees and honeybees, as well place a network of field-deployed detectors within flower patches. The field detectors will provide ecologist with the distance traveled by the insect. Dr. Sara Barlow, Kew’s leading scientist, hopes that this technology will one day be used on all types of insects for gathering information of population, infestation, and behavior

In addition, CSIRO, Australian National Science Agency is also curious to find a solution to the declining bee population. Thousands of Australian bees have already been tagged with a micro-sensors; they call this Swam Sensing. Swarm Sensing collects mass data above a hives’ behavior. Thus, helping Australian entomologist model honeybee movement. The goal is to reveal variation in activity to help identify the cause of depopulation.

In the wearable world it is intriguing to receive word of the ever-expanding consumer base. Now, livestock farmers, and bee entomologist can use technology to their benefit. However, because these products are designed for a niche marker, they are not manufactured in mass scale. Please contact one of these companies if you are curious in using their product.

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