Edmonton-based startup iClassifier is set to transform dairy farming in Canada through innovative technology. By utilizing images, videos, and artificial intelligence, the company aims to monitor dairy cows for potential injuries, with a special focus on early lameness indicators. This breakthrough could significantly enhance the welfare and productivity of dairy herds.
Emran Hamzehnezhadabkenari, a mechanical engineering student and contributor to the project, highlighted the significance of early detection: “If you detect lameness at an earlier stage, some steps can be taken and … the animal can be treated.”
iClassifier, initiated in 2021, is dedicated to integrating AI into agriculture. Their application can be used on a farmer’s mobile device or through an automated assessment machine equipped with specialized cameras and imaging tools. This unique AI algorithm processes the data, making animal health assessments more accessible, cost-effective, and regular.
Hamzehnezhadabkenari explained that the extensive data gathered during animal movement can be effectively utilized by AI: “AI can use all that information, pixel by pixel, which means that you can have a better assessment, which means that you can have more information about the herd and all this results in better monitoring.”
Traditional methods of assessment can be costly and inconsistent. The image-based approach adopted by iClassifier provides a more objective and flexible alternative, enabling producers to conduct assessments as frequently as needed without incurring extra expenses.
Reza Sabbagh, CEO of iClassifier, emphasized the advantages of their automated approach: “We thought if we could automate this practice, we could help farmers perform these assessments more frequently, and provide an accurate and objective result they can use to improve the longevity and productivity of their herds.”
The technology analyzes various traits, including udder texture, depth, bone quality, height, and rump angle, identifying potential lameness indicators like changes in gait and posture. Early detection ensures that the cows receive prompt care, minimizing their discomfort.
Looking ahead, iClassifier aims to further refine the technology and expand its application to support the health and welfare of other livestock, including horses, pigs, and camels. A pilot project is scheduled to commence on a Canadian dairy farm by spring 2024.
iClassifier’s innovative approach not only promises increased profits for producers but also underscores a commitment to environmental sustainability and animal welfare, setting a new standard in modern dairy farming practices.
Source : https://www.technologytimes.pk/2023/10/14/iclassifier-to-transform-dairy-farming-with-ai-cow-health-monitoring/