Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


STEPLA PLUS Report Summary

Project ID: 726605

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - STEPLA PLUS (Livestock integrated management system)

Reporting period: 2016-05-01 to 2017-04-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

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.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The project was divided in 6 work packages (WP) that cover the adaptation of the solution to monitor other animals, the improvement of the performance of the collar developed and generating new sensors, the creation of a series of user interfaces to integrate other stakeholders in the platform and the generation of Big Data algorithms to detect anomalies in the animals. Besides, there is a WP that covers the commercialisation and business development; and other WP that covers project management and innovation. In detail:
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. To the date, the adaptation to sheep, goat and horse market has been done successfully. Adaptation to pig market is an on-going task.
About WP2, it consists on the improvement on the collar’s capabilities and generating new sensors that can be integrated in the farm. To the date, tasks related with collar’ improvements (antenna, casing, new sensing capabilities on the sensor) have been performed successfully and a new version of the collar has already finished. It is an on-going task the design, manufacturing and integration other sensors that can be integrated in the farm such as door sensor, humidity sensor, etc.
In relation with WP3, mobile and web based version of user applications for veterinarians, consumers, suppliers, authorities and other stakeholders have been done based on the feedback of these stakeholders. We are still working in deploying a pilot test stage where stakeholders are integrated.
WP4 consists on the development of behavioural algorithms to detect anomalies on the animals. To the date, the work has consisted basically in collect data from the animals and in to elaborate etograms to register animals’ behaviour. Some algorithms are in testing stage. During the second year of the project, algorithms will be finished and tested.
The goal of the WP5 is to establish a commercialization plan and to update the business plan. Business plan is an on-going task due to it evolves during the project. During the first year a commercialisation plan has been accomplished.
WP6 consists on the project management. During this first year an amendment was presented with minor changes in some deliverables and budget. 8 deliverables have been submitted according with project planning. Also financial and technical report have prepared.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

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. Now we are actively working in develop a series of BigData algorithms 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.

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