5G promises internet speeds between 50 to 100 times faster than current 4G systems. The technology was also built to handle many more users without slowing wireless services down. Such improvements are sure to be popular for 5G users worldwide.
While 5G is set to launch in some limited areas of the United States this year, much of the rest of the world is not expected to receive widely available service until 2023.
One project in Britain, though, is already testing this superfast technology, but not on humans. Instead, the experiment involves an unlikely group of internet users – cows. The system connects the animals to 5G in an effort to automate the milking process.
The project was developed by American technology company Cisco Systems. It is part of a Cisco-led program called 5G RuralFirst. The project also receives money from the British government.
Testing areas were set up at farms in three rural areas of England. The cows are equipped with 5G-connected devices that link up to a robotic milking system. The system uses sensors and machine learning to fully automate the process.
System designers say technology takes over after a cow feels ready to be milked and walks toward an automatic gate. The device is designed to recognize each individual cow. It then positions equipment to the right body position for milking. During the process, machines release food for the cow as a reward.
One of the test areas is in the town of Shepton Mallet, in southwest England. There, about 50 of the farm’s 180 cows are fitted with 5G smart collars and health-observing ear sensors.
Project officials say the devices do not harm the cows and the sensors permit farmers to immediately identify any problems or health concerns.
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