Real-time localization system for livestock dairy cattle: Validation of static positioning in a commercial facility

Emily M. Rice, Jessica Ferrell, Eric Vanzant, Joshua Jackson, Joao H.C. Costa

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The objective of this project was to validate the precision and accuracy of a commercially available continuous real-time localization ear tag system for use in group-housed dairy cattle. The system was evaluated under static conditions. Two ear tags were mounted onto a wooden stake at heights of 76 and 152 cm to mimic heights of a lying and standing Holstein cow, respectively. Researchers randomly selected 138 locations within the 2 barns to act as reference points. Stakes remained at selected reference points for a total of 10 min, initial 3 min and final 1 min were not included in analysis. Location data from ear tags were transmitted at a frequency of 1 Hz to various receivers located along barn walls. Utilizing a self-leveling 90° laser tool, the distance each reference point was from known X and Y coordinates was determined. Subsequently, the known coordinates of those wallpoints and barn dimensions were used to calculate X and Y coordinates for each reference point. For statistical analysis, accuracy was expressed as the distance root mean square error (DRMSE) and precision was described by the circular error probability (CEP). The average accuracy of the system was 1.99 m (SD= 0.02 m; Q1= 1.07 m; Q3= 2.60 m). The average precision was 0.87 m (SD= 0.73 m; Q1= 0.51 m; Q3= 1.40 m). These results suggest that this technology can be used by producers to confidently locate an individual animal in a commercial facility.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2020
Event2020 ASABE Annual International Meeting - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jul 13 2020Jul 15 2020


Conference2020 ASABE Annual International Meeting
CityVirtual, Online

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© ASABE 2020 Annual International Meeting.


  • Indoor livestock tracking
  • Precision dairy technology
  • Real-time location system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Bioengineering


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