A group of UF/IFAS scientists are conducting research into using AI to assess livestock mobility for horses, cattle, and more.

Keeping livestock healthy is an important part of any ag operation, and one UF scientist is hoping to use Artificial Intelligence, or AI, to help. According to a UF/IFAS blog, a group of UF/IFAS scientists have just received a grant to fund their research into using AI to assess livestock mobility. The grant is for just shy of $50K from the Agricultural Genome to Phenome Initiative (AG2PI). See the details below.

Details of Using AI to Assess Livestock Mobility

The UF/IFAS team is using video clips of horses in motion and feeding the information into computers to create a program that can analyze a horse’s gait from the video. Research team member and UF/IFAS geneticist and associate professor of equine physiology Samantha Brooks said in the article, “Our long-term goal is to build an automated pipeline that could produce results nearly in real time, just seconds after the animal passes by the camera. This pilot project is a first step toward that goal.”

According to Brooks, using AI to assess livestock mobility could aid veterinarians and livestock owners in identifying problems. For example, the article cites, one veterinarian could potentially do a basic lameness exam in about 15 minutes. The aim is for the AI to assess the animal on traits like stance time, stride, length, and limb extension.

While the initial project is focusing on horses, the team hopes to expand the project’s scope. “Although we’ve started with the horse, what we learn here will translate to similar models for other four-legged farm animals,” Brooks said in the article. The article maintains the team plans to create AI models for cattle, swine, and small ruminants, and that the focus for cattle and swine would be for “asymmetry and postures that indicate pain for abnormal function in one or more limbs.”

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