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Smart Management Technology for Feral Animals

Project start date: 05 February 2018
Project end date: 04 March 2019
Publication date: 24 October 2019
Project status: In progress
Livestock species: Sheep, Goat, Lamb, Grassfed cattle
Relevant regions: National
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Feral Animals cost more than 700 million to Australian economy every year.
The current measures such as baiting, trapping & shooting are not selective or targeted. The non-selective nature leads to high operational costs and by-catch which impact native species. There is no way to measure effectiveness of the money spent on the controls. Solution under development by OutofBox Solutions will enable selective trapping and provide alerts on trapping.

This project aimed to develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) of the proposed solution - Alfie. Alfie integrates with existing feral animal controls such as traps and provides capability to avoid non-targeted species. The solution provides alerts when the control is activated. The solution was built using IoT and Artificial Intelligence by following Rapid & Iterative Development.

As part of Customer Discovery process, OutofBox Solutions team interviewed over 100 of farmers, community groups & industry representatives. The insights from these discussions along with industry reports highlighted need to make existing feral animal controls smarter by making them selective and measurable.

Customised designs were built for mechanical, electronics and hardware components. These designs included hundreds of components and required huge effort to integrate all the development aspects. Key challenges included building the solution that works in on-the-farm conditions.

The Project has achieved planned outcomes. The MVP helped the team to conduct field trials in controlled environment and identified necessary design optimisation to get the product market-ready. The design changes required are mainly to optimise power consumption and integration with existing controls such as traps, baits.

With further design fine-tuning, product will be field trialled on wider scale. We have seen growing interest from farmers and farmer groups to participate in the wider trials of the solution. The product can save time and money every season for the livestock farmers and supporting businesses.

Design fine tuning and product optimisation are the next steps for the next phase of this project that will prepare Alfie to be market ready. The next stage of the product development will include multiple suppliers, wider field trials and more number of sample units produced to achieve product commercialisation.

More information

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Primary researcher: OutofBox Solutions Tech Pty Ltd