TPG is counting cows using 5G.
That’s it, that’s the news. But it’s actually pretty big news, at least in the agritech space.
Counting cattle is, so I’ve herd (sorry), quite a laborious task. And results from a now-completed 5G smart-farming trial at Tamworth could change this.
According to TPG, its 5G play could “revolutionise livestock exchanges of the future”, by “automating the labour-intensive practice of counting cattle, with the potential to save farmers time, money and increase productivity”.
“Most people think counting cattle is as simple as counting jellybeans, but counting four-legged beasts moving at speed is a completely different ballgame,” AAM Investment Group’s NSW regional development manager, Brock Syphers, said. Side note, AAM is an investment company, but TPG didn’t introduce them, or provide the context in which they’re involved in the 5G cow counting trial. We liked his quote, however.
Anyway, the 5G trial, TPG did explain, took place over a 12-month period at Tamworth Regional Livestock Exchange (TRLX) in northern New South Wales. It involved the automated, real-time counting of cattle being offloaded and onloaded from trucks, before and after an auction-day.
Opinions on the cattle industry aside (yes, we can keep opinions to ourselves sometimes), by using 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), image processing and cloud and edge computing services, the new tech solution aims to remove human error to enable saleyard managers to verify, monitor and report on cattle numbers in real-time, with higher accuracy, and without the need to be physically present.
The 5G and AI-image processing capabilities provide multiple high-definition video streams that are used for the cattle counting. It relays data in real-time back to the saleyard manager via a phone/tablet app.
TPG said it aims to extend the video-based, 5G smart farming solution to be used for saleyard security purposes, and to perform cattle identification, tracking, health monitoring, behaviour and welfare analysis in the future.
Also involved in the project was Nokia, University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
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