Thematic Objective 1
Research, Technological Development and Innovation
Specific objective 1.1
Increase of business innovation activity
Support for the technological advancement of companies through financing
pilot lines and early product validation and large-scale demonstration actions
Project amount: € 1,972,759.00
Project amount developed by T.net: € 468,808.00
Contribution to T.net: € 319,484.88
CowTech is an innovative research project that involves the prototyping and development of an automatic system for monitoring the behavior of dairy cows, shared in a system logic and aimed at improving animal welfare and productive and reproductive performance.
The Project, whose total value is close to € 2 million (€ 1,972,759.00), was developed by T.net thanks also to the co-financing (contribution to T.net € 319,484.88 out of € 468,808) from the European Union, the Italian State and the Sicily Region ( within the Op Erdf Sicily 2014-2020) and in partnership with the Di3A (Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment) and the DIEEI (Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering) of the University of Catania and with the CoRFiLaC (Consortium for the Research of the Dairy and Dairy Industry) of Ragusa.
We tested the solution by taking into account the dairy production area in the southernmost part of Italy, in Sicily, implementing technology that can help farmers save an average of € 1,000 per year per head of cattle.
Compared to the systems currently on the market, which allow the monitoring of some behavioral parameters of dairy cows, CowTech’s technological innovation consists in the creation of a wireless telecommunication infrastructure based on LoRa (Long Range) WAN (Wide Area Network) technology, which allows breeders to be able to monitor and possibly remotely control the information collected by the farm, even if the barn is not covered by the Internet or by a data connection on a mobile network.
The monitoring and / or control of the farm takes place through the installation at company level of peripheral devices, fixed (installed inside the barn) and mobile (worn by the animals).
The CowTech prototype has the peculiarity of operating according to a system logic and not of a single company. The data acquired by the various companies (Big Data) are in fact collected in a cloud and processed by the system in order to provide an “intelligent” service for all farmers present in the portion of the territory equipped with the infrastructure.
Each dairy cow wears a smart collar with infrared sensor and a 6-axis gyroscope, GPS is optional if animals are to graze instead of being fed in stalls.
The collars are used to detect movements and optionally positions, the data is stored in the Cloud and together with a mathematical model we are able to:
• increase milk production
• reduce the cost of labor
• prevent disease
• improve the health of the herd
• optimize breeding
• improve playback speed
• optimize the power supply