Fujitsu has developed a wearable for cows that is designed to help farmers closely monitor its female cattle during pregnancy.
The Estrus Detection System for Cattle or ESDC for short, uses an orange tracking sensor that’s essentially just a pedometer. It fits around the cow’s ankle and looks a bit like a big electronic ASBO tag.
With a receiver set up inside a barn nearby, hourly movement data is analysed by Fujitsu’s data centres in the cloud and then sent to the farmer on a tablet, smartphone or PC.
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This means farmers can precisely detect estrus, the appropriate time for artificial insemination. It’s a very short window time during the fertility period, roughly around 16 hours, and it’s tough for a farmer to keep an eye on every cow’s movements.
The hope is that this can improve conception rates and reduce the expense of calving cycles. It can also detect diseases at an earlier stage.
The cow wearable has been in development since 2013 and is already being put to good use in Japan and Korea where farmers have seen a noticeable improvement in pregnancy rates. A mammoth 3 year battery life means farmers won’t have to get the wellies on and head into the field to change the batteries too often either.
Fujitsu is also trialling the wearable tech in Europe with research tests being carried out in Turkey and Romania. If you’re wondering whether you’ll ever see this wearable appearing on the ankles of other animals, that’s not going to happen.
Some tests were carried out on other animals but it just didn’t work. So for now, this is just for the cows.