Predicting fatness and muscularity in cattle using remote 3D imaging
We have developed a portable tool using 3D imaging and artificial intelligence to provide rapid real-time estimation of key traits in live cattle and carcases to improve decision making.
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An animal deposits muscle and fat in different areas of the body which results in different body shapes (phenotypes). Typically trained human assessor visually inspect an animal and estimate key traits; however, such estimates are subjective, have low accuracy and reproducibility. We have been working with the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) to develop a device for estimating P8 fat (mm), muscle and condition score using automated trait assessment. The technology uses an off-the-shelf RGB-D camera to take 3D images of an animal as it passes through a race.
- Live animal and carcase assessments
- BeefSpecs compliant for consistent classing and market compliance
- Accurate stock assessment (muscle score, fat content and hip height), improved stock valuations and reduced transaction risks
- Make better decisions and improve production by reducing input costs and variability in herd
- In conjunction with BeefSpecs, allow to optimise timing for sale
- In conjunction with BeefSpecs, tailor drafts for different finishing regimes based on predicted performance and market target
- Assess carcase information and aid management or marketing decisions
- Safe — the operator does not touch the animal
- Easy to set up and maintain, grading is performed within seconds
- Farmers/producers, saleyards/auctions, feedlots and abattoirs.
Status and IP Position
A patent application has been filed for this technology and we are seeking partners to work with our researchers to develop it further.