TPG Telecom has completed a 5G-enabled 12-month cattle counting trial alongside other partners for Tamworth Regional Livestock Exchange.
Located in northern NSW, the trial involved the automated, real-time counting of cattle being loaded from and onto trucks for auctions.
TPG Telecom worked on the project with a number of collaborators, which included Nokia with its 5G network equipment, the University of Technology Sydney which developed the cattle-counting machine model and Amazon Web Services (AWS) Professional Services for support with edge computing and machine learning.
Specifically, the trial involved 5G connectivity and artificial intelligence- (AI) image processing capabilities on multiple high-definition video streams to count cattle entering and existing sale yards.
Data was then relayed in real-time back to the sale yard manager through an application on a tablet or mobile device.
The solution can also play back recorded videos to settle disputes, with footage saved to the cloud for future audits.
The project was also the recipient of grant funding from the federal government’s 5G Innovation Initiative, with the total project value coming to $1.5 million.
TPG Telecom claimed the new solution aims to remove human error, allowing sale yard managers to verify, monitor and report on cattle numbers without the need for a person to be present.
Speaking about the trial, Brock Syphers at Australian agricultural investment, asset management and operational management services operator and provider AAM Investment Group highlighted how much of a help the trial was towards cattle counting.
“Most people think counting cattle is as simple as counting jellybeans but counting four-legged beasts moving at speed is a completely different ballgame,” he said.
“Counting cattle requires a lot of bodies, hours of work and genuine skill to make sure you get the numbers right, all the while making sure the animals are healthy, looked after and your people are safe.
“This is a game changer for the industry and can give our team more time, resources, and the next level of accountability that is crucial on a sale day. The 5G smart solution can help deliver greater certainty for buyers and sellers alike, providing clear evidence the cows arriving at the sale yard are the same cows leaving when sold.”
The NSW trial follows a similar 12-month initiative in Victoria, which was conducted at the Bendigo Regional Livestock Exchange and started in August last year.
Other 5G Innovation Initiative recipients include Australian Sentinel for the Transdev Sydney Ferries 5G project rollout and Unleash live for drone technology for NSW electricity provider Endeavour Energy.