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A Low-Cost IoT-Based System to Monitor the Location of a Whole Herd

1
Department of Animal Production, School of Agricultural and Forestry Engineering (ETSIAM), University of Cordoba, 14014 Cordoba, Spain
2
Data Science Laboratory, School of Computer Engineering, University Rey Juan Carlos, 28933 Mostoles, Spain
3
SensoWave SL, 28830 San Fernando de Henares, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(10), 2298; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19102298 (registering DOI)
Received: 15 April 2019 / Revised: 29 April 2019 / Accepted: 15 May 2019 / Published: 18 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Internet of Things)
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Abstract

Animal location technologies have evolved considerably in the last 60 years. Nowadays, animal tracking solutions based on global positioning systems (GPS) are commercially available. However, existing devices have several constraints, mostly related to wireless data transmission and financial cost, which make impractical the monitorization of all the animals in a herd. The main objective of this work is to develop a low-cost solution to enable the monitorization of a whole herd. An IoT-based system, which requires some animals of the herd being fitted with GPS collars connected to a Sigfox network and the rest with low-cost Bluetooth tags, has been developed. Its performance has been tested in two commercial farms, raising sheep and beef cattle, through the monitorization of 50 females in each case. Several collar/tag ratios, which define the cost per animal of the solution, have been simulated. Results demonstrate that a low collar/tag ratio enable the monitorization of a whole sheep herd. A larger ratio is needed for beef cows because of their grazing behavior. Nevertheless, the optimal ratio depends on the purpose of location data. Large variability has been observed for the number of hourly and daily messages from collars and tags. The system effectiveness for the monitorization of all the animals in a herd has been certainly proved. View Full-Text
Keywords: precision livestock farming; global positioning system; bluetooth low energy; low-power wide-area network; wireless sensor network precision livestock farming; global positioning system; bluetooth low energy; low-power wide-area network; wireless sensor network
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Maroto-Molina, F.; Navarro-García, J.; Príncipe-Aguirre, K.; Gómez-Maqueda, I.; Guerrero-Ginel, J.E.; Garrido-Varo, A.; Pérez-Marín, D.C. A Low-Cost IoT-Based System to Monitor the Location of a Whole Herd. Sensors 2019, 19, 2298.

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