Ireland-based CattleEye is driving its digital transformation with an AI-powered livestock monitoring platform, that allows farmers to identify individual dairy cows and monitor their health and body condition. They can understand if they are on heat, in sick health or if they are pregnant. It’s said that this technology can help farmers produce $400 more milk per cow. The idea behind this innovative startup occured when co-founder Terry Canning was talking with a friend of his who worked in the healthcare industry, and was working on technology for the detection of cancerous tumours.
The service involves the purchase of a security camera for around $150 per month and the erection of it 3 meters above the exit of the dairy building. The farmer provides their IP address to the startup and this facilitates their connection to the Cloud.
“We train algorithms using AI to take in video footage and segment out the cow in the video. It could be 10 animals side-by-side or overlapping, but it can pull them out individually and look for ways to identify them first by the patterns and the shapes of the animal….Once we have identified the cow, we look for insights like how they are walking today versus yesterday, have they suddenly gone lame, are they going into heat? etc.”
Up until now, CattleEye has raised a $1 million seed round from Belfast-based Techstart Ventures and has received grant money from Invest Northern Ireland.
With CattleEye, Cannings mission is overall to reduce the friction existing with livestock technologies as many of them rely on attaching wearable devices to cattle either around their necks on collars or on the tailhead which is both uncomfortable and complicated.
“First, we’d rather not interfere with the animal at all. Also, there is a cost to wearables because you need one for each animal. If you have 10,000 dairy cows that means you need 10,000 devices,” he explains. “There’s also a commissioning problem, which refers to switching devices between animals, especially on large farms.”
Thanks to the new plant-based revolution in the food industry, Canning has realized a bigger demand for technologies to make livestock production more efficient. They are already working with various grocery retailers in the UK and Canning is already seeing a growing demand for their technologies:
“It goes back to how fast the landscape is changing since 2004. The fact that we now have these events with a key focus on the investment community is just fantastic.”
Learn more about the advances in livestock technology @AgFunder