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AI on the Edge: Leveraging Machine Learning for Herd Management


Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have been arguably the hottest topic for businesses in recent years, and for good reason. Breakthroughs in computer science, software, and engineering have allowed the world to harness the power of AI to make our lives better and improve the efficiency of nearly every industry. Livestock production is no exception. At 701x, we utilize AI on the edge and big data in our hardware to provide valuable data and timely animal health alerts for our customers.


AI on the edge is how we apply artificial intelligence and machine learning by embedding it into our cattle tags. With big data being constantly generated and collected by our tags and software, there is a lot of information to parse through and process into meaningful information that the rancher can use. Implanting artificial intelligence into our tags allows them to process data from the animal and provide animal health alerts immediately to the software on the rancher's devices. The best examples of this are our health alerts for low-activity, high-activity, bull mounting, and out-of-fence alerts.


Low-activity alerts




Our tags generate low-activity and no-activity alerts under certain conditions according to parameters based on each animal's normal behavior. The xTpro tag collects movement data from its accelerometer and other sensors, and the AI learns what constitutes average amounts of movement for the animal. Whenever the movement amount falls significantly below the parameters observed normally from the animal, the tag sends out an alert for that animal. Typically, drastically lowered activity means the animal is in distress, sick, or injured and in need of intervention, so timely alerts are critical in potentially saving the life of the animal.


High-Activity Alerts



High activity alerts are generated in a similar fashion to low-activity alerts, with some slight differences. The tag collects movement data and learns what the average daily movement for an animal should look like. However, instead of a gradual change over time, the AI looks for acute changes in activity over a short period. These spikes in movement indicate the animal is running, potentially away from a predator or some other threat, which triggers a tag alert. If the speed of the animal is detected by the tag at over 30 miles per hour, a high-speed alert is issued, likely due to the animal being transported in a trailer and potentially being stolen. In each of these cases, the alerts provided by the AI on the xTpro allows for a potentially life-saving intervention for the animal, and better peace of mind for the rancher.


Out-of-Fence Alerts



As the name implies, Out-of-Fence alerts assist with one of the most common problems with livestock, an animal escaping the pasture. In this case, the user-defined parameters are the fences that can be drawn up in the Autonomous Rancher App around your pasture, feedlot, pen, etc. The software communicates the boundaries of the fence lines to the tag, and the AI tracks the GPS location of the animal relative to those boundaries. When the animal moves a certain distance outside the boundaries of the fence, the AI determines from the GPS location that it should send an out-of-fence alert.


Bull-Mounting Alerts


Accurate data on mounting and libido is critical for determining the efficiency of a bull for breeding. Breeding sires are expensive investments, and the potential value lost from a bull failing to sire calves is substantial. The xTpro tag addresses these concerns by tracking bull activity to determine if a bull is mounting cows in heat.


 

Big data can be processed using artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to provide valuable information for cattle operations. At 701x, we have developed technology with AI on the edge to produce animal health alerts from our hardware, including low-activity alerts, high-activity alerts, and out-of-fence alerts, just to name a few.


If you would like to learn more about how 701x harnesses the power of big data with artificial intelligence to help our customers do more with less, feel free to email or give us a call!

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