Nikon bought it imaging and AI prowess in an unexpected direction with a new system that can alert farmers when cows are about to give birth, Kyodo news reported. It is designed to reduce the need to constantly check large numbers of pregnant cows during busy calving seasons and helps farmers increase efficiency.
The system, which costs 900,000 yen ($6,200) a year for a farm with about 100 cows, consists of a security-style camera connected to an artificial intelligence system. It uses a special smartphone app that alerts when it’s time to calve and allows farmers to take action if necessary.
Nikon began training the AI in the fall of 2021, then conducted proof-of-concept tests on four farms in southwestern Japan in February 2023. The system detects signs that pregnant cows exhibit about five hours before giving birth, such as increased movement and the beginning of the release of the calf’s amniotic sac. “We want to determine when a female cow is in heat and other behavioral patterns,” said Nikon’s Kazuhiro Hirano.
According to a cattle owner who took part in tests last year, the system seems to be doing the job well. “We deliver about 60 puppies every year, and we had to check the mothers every few hours for about a month. This system has been a big help,” said Keita Higuchi.
Nikon is best known for consumer cameras, but it also makes microscopes, X-Ray systems, semiconductor systems, robotic vision, virtual production studios, and more. produces. The company uses AI technology to help microscope imagebut has recently combated the misuse of fake AI images through a new electronic watermarking technology.