Video games experts from Dundee are helping dairy farmers and vets identify their cows.
Experts at award-winning games developer Pocket Sized Hands (PSH) and Abertay University’s School of Design and Informatics have developed technology to help quickly tell one cow from another.
Using an augmented reality headset, the artificial intelligence-based system can recognise a cow by its skin patterns and display health and productivity data about the animal.
For users, it means an end to sifting through paperwork detailing the medical history of a cow.
The SmARtview research project is being developed to be trialled on farms across the UK.
The Edinburgh-based Agri-EPI Centre, a UK Government-funded centre for agricultural excellence, is behind the trial.
The group’s head of dairy, Duncan Forbes, said: “By using the type of technology that is becoming extremely advanced in the video gaming world, we hope to be able to take the care and treatment of dairy cattle into a new era.
“The beauty of this project is that it combines farmers’ and vets’ experienced ‘eyes’ with real-time data.
“Technology is being used to enhance, rather than replace, human skills. In addition, SmARtview could provide a solution to one of the key challenges of on-farm technology – while different devices like robotic milkers, sensors and collars can already collect plentiful data, its lack of integration limits insight to drive decision-making.”
PSH chief executive Gary McCartan said: “Use of the technology is in its early stages.
“For example, current headsets are quite bulky which would not be practical in a farm situation.
“We will be looking at ways to allow cow data to be easily accessed and understood.”