Nebraska’s Patent of the Month – October 2020

If you have a pet, you know the feeling of checking their water bowl to find it empty and then wondering if they’ve been thirsty for some time. Sometimes it’s difficult to know when your pet needs something. And it’s not just pets that have needs. Animals on farms or in shelters require monitoring to ensure their health and wellness is being properly taken care of. The only issue is that animals, especially those in group-housed environments, are often difficult to track with the commonly used, Precision Livestock Farming (PLF) approach. 

Some researchers have come up with other solutions, such as tag-based systems. These systems, which consist of attaching tags to animals, provide valuable data and can measure a variety of parameters. However, they also come with a few drawbacks, such as cost, battery life, and durability. These tag-based systems are also not commonly used outside of the research community. In order to solve this problem, NUtech Ventures has developed an innovative process for tracking individual animals in a group-housed environment in order to observe the animal’s health. 

NUtech Ventures’ system involves using cameras and motion sensing devices to track individual animals. Based on many images from these devices, they can identify individual animals and create models for each animal based on approximate measurements within the frames of the crest of their spine. They can then track the animal by applying this model to image frames from motion devices to create a match. This process can be applied to multiple animals to continuously track and monitor their individual wellbeing, growth rate, and behaviour, among other measurements. 

Are you developing an innovative new process? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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