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US-based tech giant Cisco has teamed up with three farms in the United Kingdom to put 5G to the test.
5G is the next generation standard for wireless Internet connections. It is predicted to be about 100 times faster than 4G. This means data transmission and reception from different locations will be easier, even in remote areas.
One of the farms participating in the project is the Agricultural Engineering Precision Innovation Centre (Agri-EPI Centre). It is a government-controlled infrastructure in South West England usually used as a testing site for agricultural technology.
As part of the test, 5G-enabled ear sensors were attached to some cows in the Centre. These sensors transport data to an app that farm workers use to monitor the cows’ health. When the cows are ill or in distress, the sensors send signals to caretakers so that immediate action can be taken.
In addition to the sensors, the cows also wear digital collars that are connected to a 5G-powered milking system. In this high-tech system, parts of the milking process are automated. The cows simply need to walk up to milking machines, which will latch onto the animals automatically. When the process is done, the system provides a food reward to the cows. The entire process is completed with almost no intervention from humans.
The manager of the Agri-EPI Centre said that the trial aims to test the potentials of 5G technology to improve processes in farms. He added that the success of this initiative could lead to the use of 5G not just in farming but also in other industries in rural areas.