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Livestock integrated management system

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - STEPLA PLUS (Livestock integrated management system)

Reporting period: 2017-05-01 to 2018-04-30

Just in Europe there are more than 650k holdings where the animals are living in large extensions (more than 30 ha) which group more than 120M animals (just cows, sheep and goats). Farming is a traditional sector where commercial margins are low what implies that farmers need tools to increase their profitability. On the other hand, world population is growing and there is an increasing demand of meat origin where it is important to ensure the quality and the health condition of this food.
STEPLA is a service platform consisting on hardware devices (collars) that collect data from the animals, send it to the cloud through an IoT network; BigData algorithms that analyse data coming from the collars and multi-platform user interfaces that show the data in an user friendly way. STEPLA’s main goal is to help farmers to improve their profitability by reducing animal losses, increasing calving rate, reducing animals’ health problems and improving animal welfare. Thanks to STEPLA, farmers may know where are their animals, how is their temperature, what is their activity, how much distance they walked, what is their status, etc.
Thanks to this project, an initial prototype for locating cows will be turned in a commercial solution composed by high durability and endurance devices with high radiofrequency performance with activity and temperature sensors and long-life battery. These devices send the information using and IoT communications protocol to the FIWARE based cloud where it is processed an analysed in order to determine animals’ condition.
Conclusion during this second year we have finished all activities according to schedule and concluded our market launch strategy. We can assure we´ve reach the TRL9 and our product, now named DIGITANIMAL is ready for its commercialisation.

WP1 consists on the adaptation of STEPLA to monitor other animals such as goats, sheep, horses and pigs by adapting hardware and software elements of the platform. The adaptation to sheep, goat and horse market has been done successfully. The adaptation to the pig market required a modification in the casing, and device placing, which is located in the animal back with an harness instead than with a collar.

About WP2, it consists on the improvement on the collar’s capabilities and generating new sensors that can be integrated in the farm. In this second year all the new features implemented during first year (antenna, casing, new sensing capabilities on the sensor) have been tested, and fine-tuned. In relation to the development of new sensors, a low cost electronic ear tag has been developed during the project. This device is able to communicate with the collar and with other sensors reporting small piece of information about animals’ condition. Thanks to this device is possible to increase the number of animals monitored in a farm.

WP3, improving online platform and mobile App, was completed in first year. We successfully deployed a pilot test to integrate stakeholder. In this year we´ve assure that all the developed modules were successfully integrated. We´ve optimised our server capability to provide a better service.

WP4 consists on the development of behavioural algorithms to detect anomalies on the animals. In this second year effort have been focused in developing and fine-tuning algorithms based on the data collected first year. During this 12 months testing in real conditions has been a key activity in this WP.

The goal of the WP5 is to establish a commercialization plan and to update the business plan. This second period has been more focused on setting the grounds for the market deployment of our solution. The business plan has been updated and reviewed by internal and external experts.

WP6 consists on the project management. During the second year special effort have been made to adjust expenses to the remaining budget. In this second year total 17 deliverables have been submitted according to project planning. Also, financial and technical report have prepared. A financial certificate statement has been generated in collaboration with an external audit.
Thanks to the project, we were able to evolve our device for monitoring and locate livestock animals from a prototype to a device in the state of the art and even beyond. Our device was the first IoT device to monitor livestock cattle living in large areas that use an IoT designed communication protocol as it is Sigfox. Thanks to the work developed during the second year of the project, our device has been also the first NBIoT device for monitoring animals. Besides, a series of Big Data and machine learning algorithms have been developed using state of the art technologies that allow us to detect several anomalies on the animals like in-heat detection, predator attacks, etc. During the project, a series of improvements carried on the device allowed us to improve collar endurance, durability and radiofrequency performance among others.
Our project has a high impact improving animals’ welfare and improving life conditions in rural areas. Our device was designed to monitor and locate livestock animals living in large areas, which are normally rural areas, with the goal of helping farmers to increase their productivity and their peace of mind. Our solution helps to decrease animal losses by monitoring several parameters of the animals. A series of interviews with our user trials revealed that the quality of life from 9 of 10 of them was improved by the use of our solution and none of them lost an animal equipped with STEPLA device. Besides, another goal of the STEPLA+ project is to promote the natural condition of animals grazing in freedom what implies a series of societal benefits like CO2 emission reduction.