Purdue University Graduate School
Upinder_s_Thesis_FINAL_APPROVED.pdf (14.79 MB)

A Resource and Criticality Aware Cyber-Physical System with Robots for Precision Animal Agriculture

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posted on 2023-07-26, 02:04 authored by Upinder KaurUpinder Kaur

Precision livestock farming (PLF) has emerged as a solution to address global challenges related to food scarcity, increasing demand for animal products, slim profit margins in livestock production, and growing societal concerns regarding farm animal welfare. By offering individualized care for animals, PLF aims to provide labor savings, enhanced monitoring, and improved control capabilities within complex farming systems, enabled by digital technologies. The adoption of an individual-centric approach to farming through PLF is anticipated to enhance farm productivity and ensure ethical treatment of animals while mitigating concerns associated with labor shortages in modern intensive farming operations. Real-time continuous monitoring of each animal enables precise and accurate health and well-being management. However, to achieve these benefits, large-scale animal farms require commercially viable technological solutions for individualized care and welfare. Cyber-physical systems (CPSs) offer precise monitoring and control and present a promising avenue for PLF but pose significant implementation challenges.

  In this work, a generalizable CPS architecture was formalized with active robotic nodes that can realize adaptive continuous real-time animal health monitoring to maximize productivity, animal welfare, and sustainability. Taking the example of dairy farming, a resource- and criticality-aware CPS was developed that enables real-time resource-aware sensing, adaptive control, and agile networking with an emphasis on handling emergencies autonomously. Using a decentralized approach, each node was made capable of optimizing its operation to be resource conscious, while also being able to identify emergency conditions in real-time. In this novel design, we accommodate the social dynamics of the herd and effectively address the various types of emergencies possible in PLF. Moreover, the communication was customized for the unique needs of animal agriculture, wherein it reduced latency and power consumption while ensuring collision-free two-way synchronization with adaptive range extension for emergency conditions. Further, since the CPS was centered around animals, a special robust security layer was also developed and implemented to protect the active embodied nodes against known and unknown malicious attacks. The proposed CPS reference architecture provides a foundation for implementing individualized care and welfare, ultimately improving the efficiency and sustainability of livestock operations.


CPS: Medium: Collaborative Research: Closed Loop Sustainable Precision Animal Agriculture

National Institute of Food and Agriculture

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NRI: INT: COLLAB: Rumen Understanding through Millipede-Engineered Navigation and Sensing (RUMENS)

National Institute of Food and Agriculture

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Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Technology

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Richard M. Voyles

Additional Committee Member 2

Byung-Cheol Min

Additional Committee Member 3

Brittany A. Newell

Additional Committee Member 4

Luiz F. Brito

Additional Committee Member 5

Robert A. Nawrocki

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