Dairy News

X-box in the dairy

By Geoff Adams

Clever use of an X-box sensor and specialised software has resulted in a young Sydney student winning a young scientist award at the Australian Dairy Conference.

John Gardenier has invented a device which can detect lameness in dairy cattle.

Considered as an esteemed pathway for aspiring early-stage scientists, the Young Dairy Science Award sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim, provides early-age scientists an environment to present, discuss and connect with leading dairy farmers and industry from around the country.

Mr Gardenier was one of six young students who presented their work to 500 delegates at the conference.

His presentation, ‘How now lame cow – automatic lameness detection’ looked at taking existing technologies and machine vision, such as used in an X Box, to track and scan the gait of dairy cows to detect and monitor lameness.

Mr Gardenier is about to complete his PhD with Sydney University.

He has spent a number of years working on the project and sees the next phase of its development would require trials on dairy farms.

ADC Scientific Director and ‘Young Dairy Scientist Award’ Coordinator Richard Rawnsley said the Award has become a notable high-level tertiary competition for emerging researchers offering an opportunity to showcase their research at a broader industry level and to the ultimate end-users, dairy farmers.

“The intention of the Young Dairy Scientist Award is to put the spotlight on new and emerging research that has the capacity to contribute to the future competitiveness of the Australian dairy industry,” he said. 

“The Award is designed to nurture scientific excellence and the young scientists must convince fellow dairy farmers and scientists that their research is soundly based and has exciting implications for the future of the dairy industry,” he said.