Dairymaster, IT Tralee, Lero agree €2m R&D programme
Farmers could soon be able to avail of artificial intelligence to assist in managing their farm as a result of a new €2 million research and development partnership announced today by Irish dairy equipment manufacturer Dairymaster, IT Tralee and Lero, the Irish Software SFI Research Centre. The programme is backed by Science Foundation Ireland.
A team of researchers will be hired to work with Lero and Dairymaster R&D teams in embedded electronics, sensor technology, software development and data analytics.
As part of the R&D programme, Lero and Dairymaster will look to develop autonomous systems to ease the workload on the dairy farm.
The programme also includes the development of Internet of Things technology to boost milk quality and animal health. This will involve the application of advanced data analytics to boost dairy farm productivity combining existing Dairymaster equipment such as MooMonitor+ health and fertility monitoring system with data from new sensors and monitoring technology. This will utilise data analytics and machine learning to automatically generate predictors and classifiers for dairy cow health and productivity.
“Dairymaster is committed to providing the best possible technologies to our customers and this is the key reason why we are investing in this area,” said Prof Edmond Harty, CEO of Dairymaster.
Dr Joseph Walsh, Head of the School of STEM and Lero researcher at IT Tralee, said: “The availability of skilled labour has been identified as one of the key challenges to the dairy industry. Automating labour intensive processes will not only be hugely beneficial to the farmer but will also enhance animal health and milk quality by ensuring tasks are completed to consistently high levels.”
Founded in 1968, Dairymaster employs 350 people between its headquarters in Co Kerry, the UK and USA.