We wish to monitor and control the position of herd animals at fine granularity to improve he management of pastures and herds.
In collaboration with Dean Anderson from the USDA we developed wearable devices for cattle. Each animal in the herd is given a smart collar consisting of a GPS, PDA, wireless networking and a sound amplifier. Using the GPS, the animal’s location can be verified relative to the fence boundary. When approaching the perimeter, the animal is presented with a sound stimulus whose effect is to move away. We have developed the virtual fence control algorithm for moving a herd and used it to collect animal data and to automatically gather animals. Our field experiments were conducted at the USDA’s Jornada Research facility in New Mexico.