Grants and Contracts Details


Overview: The objective of this project is to develop and demonstrate a new multi-robot system of au- tonomous unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) for monitoring the health of cattle herds, thus improving manage- ment practices. Every year, over 2.5 million U.S. cattle, valued at $1.5 billion, die from health problems. In contrast, only 220,000 cattle are lost annually to predators. Poor livestock health is the single biggest cause of cattle loss|accounting for over 60% of all losses. Improved health monitoring can reduce herd loss and thus, help to secure an essential source of food. Unlike poultry and swine, grazing beef cattle spend a signicant amount of time outside of connement, which makes centralized monitoring difficult. Although neckbands for cattle monitoring exist, these devices are expensive, cumbersome, and rarely used in practice|regardless of the size of the operation. We propose a new multi-UAV system equipped with vision-sensing capabilities that will uniquely identify each cow in a herd, and provide daily monitoring of each cow's physical location in pasture as well as key health indicators such as facial features, volume, weight, and physical activity. All of these measurements will be taken using a group of cooperative UAVs that use non-invasive measurement methods. Signicant advances in computer science, control systems, agricultural engineering, and livestock systems management are needed to unlock the potential of multi-UAV systems for cattle health monitoring and precision livestock management. Our proposal team brings expertise in all of these areas.
Effective start/end date2/15/182/14/22


  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture


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