Grabbing Innovation by the Horns
eShepherd is a virtual herding solution developed by Cobalt for agri-tech innovator Agersens. The integrated system allows farmers to remotely manage and monitor their livestock from any smart device, no matter where they are – safely, reliably, and humanely.
The heart of the system is a wireless IOT and GPS collar device fitted to cattle or dairy cows. Through a computer or mobile app, farmers can set up “virtual fences” to define grazing areas for their livestock.
This is a significant game-changer, as it enables more efficient pasture use as well as environmental benefits, such as allowing wildlife to move about unrestricted; and being a flood and fireproof method for preventing cattle from polluting waterways.
eShepherd is the result of original CSIRO research which demonstrated that cattle can quickly learn to stay within a virtual boundary using a combination of non-aversive audio signals and aversive electrical pulse. The device triggers an audio cue first when the cow approaches the farmer-set boundary, before emitting a pulse that causes discomfort rather than harm. Animals quickly learn to stop or turn back on hearing the audio cue and avoid the electrical pulse.
Trains livestock to remain within pre-determined boundaries through humane measures.
The remote devices allow farmers the ability to control and monitor their livestock from their computer or mobile device.
Not only negating the cost of building or moving wire fencing - but the virtual boundaries can be customised to define grazing areas at any time.
An integrated solar panel in the GPS collar discounts the need to charge or deal with changing batteries.
A counterweight is built into the GPS collar, keeping it comfortably, safely and correctly positioned on the animal.
The Team We believe good design happens by expert people working as a team.
Libby Christmas Project Leader
The final product had to balance multiple technical objectives including size, solar harvesting and stimuli positioning.
Libby Christmas eShepherd Project Leader
The eShepherd was met with a high level of interest from small farmers to large-scale farming businesses.
The device offers increased profitability and productivity for beef and dairy farms.
Reduced Labour Costs
This IoT device removes the need for traditional fencing and associated labour costs.
eShepherd has received a strong interest in sustainable land and waterway management.