Nikon Develops Je-Camera for Cow Childbirth Monitoring

The famous manufacturer of photographic equipment Nikon unexpectedly used its advanced technologies in the field of digital images and artificial intelligence for agriculture. How reports the Kyodo News news agency, the company has developed a system that can warn farmers about the approaching births of cows. The technology will reduce the need to constantly check a large number of pregnant cows during the mass hotel and increase the efficiency of farmers.

A camera is installed in the barn, which determines when the cow is close to childbirth.

A system that costs 900,000 yen (about 6,200 US dollars) per year for a farm of about 100 cattle heads consists of a video camera similar to a video surveillance system and artificial intelligence. It uses a special application on a smartphone, which gives an alarm when the delivery of the calf is approaching, allowing farmers to prepare in a timely manner.

Nikon began training in artificial intelligence in the fall of 2021, and then in February 2023, it tested the concept in four farms in the southwest of Japan. The system detects signs of approaching births in pregnant cows about five hours before the start of the process, such as increasing motor activity and the beginning of the discharge of amniotic fluid. Kazuhiro Hirano from Nikon mentioned that they also aim to learn how to determine when a cow is ready to mate and other behavioral features.

According to one of the farmers who participated in testing last year, the system performed well. “We get about 60 calves per year and had to check their mothers every few hours before, starting about a month before birth. This system gave us great help,” Keith Higuti said.

Nikon is widely known for its photo and video cameras for consumers, but it also produces microscopes, x-rays, semiconductor equipment, technical vision systems for robots, virtual production studios, and much more. The company utilizes artificial intelligence technologies to enhance the functionality of microscopes. Recently, Nikon also developed a special technology of an electronic watermark to combat the falsification of images using AI.

/Reports, release notes, official announcements.