21 March 2016

Persbericht van de Universiteit Utrecht

‘Happy Healthy Cow’ connects cows to the Internet

In the Happy Healthy Cow project, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Utrecht University is working together with scientists, engineers, ICT specialists and parties from the dairy sector to develop a sensor for cows that can promote their health and welfare. The sensor is connected to the Internet and is equipped with a range of technologies to collect and analyse up-to-date information about the health, welfare, reproduction and feeding of livestock. This provides the farmer, veterinarians and scientists with a useful tool to manage and study information related to the cow’s health and welfare.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine staff with the first ‘Happy Healthy Cow’ participant.

Internet of Cows
The ‘Happy Healthy Cow’ project utilises new technologies and communications possibilities offered by the ‘Internet of Things’ revolution. Sensitive energy-efficient sensors can safely transmit small amounts of data over large distances, allowing researchers to combine a range of parameters into a single analysis. The heart of the sensor is the Clickey®, developed by the firm Invenit B.V., which sends signals via KPN’s LoRa network (Low Power Wide Area Network, or LPWAN) to the Clickey Cloud Cow Portal. In the not-too-distant future, it will be possible to collect, transmit, analyse and convert data into information in the cloud without extra expensive infrastructure, and to then offer the data to the user via any device that is connected to the Internet. The users may include the farmer, but also the veterinarian or anyone else visiting the farm. The sensor is unique in that it measures physiological parameters, such as body temperature and heartbeat, but also the animal’s movements and position in the barn. The full set of parameters will provide valuable information about the dairy cattle’s health and welfare.

Insight into the behaviour and welfare of a typical healthy cow
The Cor Wit Fund supports this scientific research into healthy cattle. The Fund’s mission is to encourage socially relevant research and creativity in connection with telecommunications in order to contribute to ‘the good life’ - in this case, the good life for our cattle.

The scientific part of the project will focus on developing algorithms to identify and interpret patterns in the data, in order to gain a better understanding of the behaviour and welfare of a typical healthy cow. The Cor Wit Fund will finance one doctoral candidate to work on the project. The candidate will be able to take advantage of rapid developments in the field of Big Data. By using smart combinations of the cow’s signals, he or she will be able to constantly monitor the animal’s health and welfare, and tailor any interventions to the individual cow in the event of any disruptions.

More information:
Marieke Veldman, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, (030) 253 4722, m.m.veldman@uu.nl.
Tim van Dam, Cor Wit Fonds, info@corwitfonds.nl