Cisco gets ahead of the herd with ‘connected cow’ app

Project shows how farmers milk 5G connections to manage herds

Me+Moo connected cow

A Cisco-led consortium has developed the world's first 'connected cow' app in order to demonstrate the potential uses of 5G networking for agri-businesses.

5G technology is rapidly approaching maturity, and one of its proposed use-cases is for tracking the status of mobile assets. This is commonly applied to fleets of vehicles such as lorries, but the 5G RuralFirst consortium - which includes Cisco, the University of Strathclyde and other vendors and academic institutions - is using it to monitor herds of cows as part of a series of trials across three main sites in Somerset, Shropshire and the Orkney Islands.

The cows at participating farms are fitted with 5G collars, which include a number of sensors. These collars help track the cows, as well as logging how much milk each cow produces via the automated milking robot. The sensors help the farms make sure their herds are kept healthy and comfortable.

The 'Me+Moo' app allows users to pick a cow from one of these farms, which each have profiles with their names and details about their age, breed and personality. The app then allows you to track how much milk your chosen cow has produced, as well as how long it has been eating for, and how long it slept and rested that day - after a week, you pick a new cow to monitor. You can also collect achievements based on your cow's activity, such as eating the most food or producing the most milk.

The app is designed as a fun way to raise awareness of 5G's applications in agriculture and beyond. As well as updates on their chosen cow, users can access videos about how the farm uses 5G and other technology to care for its herd, as well as more information about the 5G RuralFirst initiative itself.

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