Ranchers worry just like parents, HerdDogg monitors livestock even when the cow’s out of sight or out messing around in the pasture
About this project
Animals are happiest when they are out in the field and happier animals are better for everyone. But because animals don’t talk, they can’t tell you how they’re feeling, so a rancher or herdsman has to rely entirely on visual cues and be physically present to check on their herd. Is she sick? Tired? Frisky? Pregnant? What if data could be collected from the field even when the rancher isn’t present? What if the herd could “talk?”
HerdDogg is giving a voice to the herd. HerdDogg generates and gathers the most relevant data from the herd even when there there’s no handler nearby, it stores and forwards that data to the cloud and can even tweet it! Yes, it is possible for real animals to really tweet! Just ask our friend Daisy @HerdDogg_Daisy Then the herdsman or womaan can look into an individual animal’s behavior, their whereabouts, their well-being frequently and consistently. It’s the same kind of data we want on our kids, without asking any more of the cow than just being a cow! It’s easy to use and it keeps the herd happy and relaxed.
HerdDogg is made up of two small devices and the HerdDogg.io cloud service. The DoggTag is a wearable ear tag that’s attached the ear of an individual animal just like the dangle tags they wear today. DoggTag will monitor and collect the biometrics. The DoggBone is a device that collects the data from multiple DoggTags at any time. DoggBone is a versatile, durable device that can be stored at the water trough, carried in your pocket or worn by a dog. Then the DoggBone data gets sent directly to the rancher via an mobile app and to the cloud at HerdDogg.io
HerdDogg is designed to be simple to be as simple as install, sync and go! Either a DoggBone or a cell phone can do the gathering (as seen above), but having a DoggBone means you can leave it out in the field to get wet or dirty and it works even without any internet connection.
We started developing HerdDogg when we were chosen to be contestants on America’s Greatest Makers in November. We designed and deployed our first DoggTags in January at a dairy in California. We’ve upgraded the hardware and the software at the site three times at this site while we continue to discover from prospective customers just how unique HerdDogg really is. We have three sites where we are going to deploy in May/June including a site in Brazil! As our Kickstarter progresses we will provide you some updates on the progress of our HerdDogg cows.
What data do we collect? We’re focused on the basics the combination of temperature, activity, location and light to help create a picture of the animals well being. We’ve heard that those that work with animals tend to be visual learners so rather than just show numbers–we’re working really hard to turn data into information into knowledge into wisdom.
In November Team HerdDogg was selected to be on America’s Greatest Makers. Below you will see our pitch to the judges which includes Daisy our wonderful Holstein cow and Sam the border collie. As you can see from the judges faces they loved it and so did America!. In our demo here we use LEDs on the DoggTag and DoggBone to help show the data transfer, and then that data once captured gets sent to HerdDogg.io and then BOOM! Daisy sends a tweet!
This is just a really cool image of our tech from the show. Not entirely accurate but give you a good feel for how the boards where installed.
This section is really to help you understand the evolution of our product both it’s technology and form factor. We think we’ve come up with a great solution that’s low cost, passive and really does let our herds return to the field.
Team HerdDogg really worked at being lean. We pushed hard to get minimal viable product into the hands of customers from the outset, which meant we iterated quickly and often. In order to make our boards durable in the field–water proof, poop proof and cow proof–we poured them in resin.That really takes guts because once it’s in there there’s no turning back! As the development has progressed, we’ve been able to reduce the weight on the tags from 20 grams to 9 grams which means they have a higher likelihood of staying put! Here’s some of the details of our basic Minimal Viable Product specs.
- Custom PCB with BLE module Sensors: accelerometer, light, temp(2)
- Current weight: 9 grams Current size: 2×1 will be 1×1 in RC4
- Replaceable coin cells battery
- RC1, RC2 & RC3 deployed/tested
DoggBone has a big battery to support more processing and to power the LEDs.
- Custom PCB with BLE Module Sensors: accelerometer, light, temp(2), check-ins
- 2 – AAA battery pack
- Expanded memory/storage
- Current size: 2×1 PCB with expansion
- One-to-1000’s BLE pairing
From the outset we’ve been focused on integrating with the current mode of use and tools for herd management. There is a widely used product in the herd market today which is a small plastic tag, called a dangle tag. The dangle tag was our model for our design of the DoggTag. We are super excited about the final design. We’ve figured out a way to move the batteries to the back of the tag like a back of an earring which lowers the weight and makes the batteries swappable. Easily swappable.
- Long term use
- Easy-to-swap batteries
- Embedded thermistor Alert LEDs
DoggBone is meant to be rugged, but friendly. It’s like a flashlight for data. It is full fledged processor with no screen. It does what it does for you without you needing to interact. We discovered that LEDs help much more than buttons. So we’ve all but removed every button, switch or thingy that might break off or get muddy on DoggBone.
- No buttons
- Easy to use
- Durable Lightweight/compact
- LED alerts
With HerdDogg.io we have more than 15,000 cow hours already collected and we are just getting started! We’re pretty excited about the data that is being collected and the insight that has been emerging from that data. This is where we are really able to give a voice to the herd. We are looking forward to helping you gain insight into your herds. We hope it’s going to be an interactive process as we grow and bring more of our data streams from 1000’s of DoggTags.
- Sensor data analytics
- Animal profiles, history, charts, alerts
- Receive alerts on mobile
- Tweeting animals
- Access HerdDogg.io from any device
Risks and challenges
We are really excited about launching the first ever smart tag and collector for herds. We recognize that building products for cattle and agriculture is more difficult due to the varying temperature and rugged conditions. However, the most important aspect of this project is that we fulfill our promise to you, our backers (humans) and our users (herds).
We are a “seasoned” team which is code for gray hair. We put a lot of work into designing and building and testing our first prototypes, but as a hardware project we are also aware that there will be challenges of manufacturing, production, shipping worldwide and other unknown factors. Our promise is that we will rise to meet these challenges with the combined experience and passion our team brings. We’ve given you a conservative estimate of our delivery dates. We are committed to keeping you informed of our progress both during and following our campaign. We are assume you that we are working very hard to produce a sensational product that not only arrives on time but is of optimum quality to create both happy humans and herds.
We are excited to get HerdDogg in the hands folks worldwide, because giving a voice to the herd. It’s what we do.