Farmers raising cattle, chickens and other types of livestock rely upon a steady supply of water, grain and feed to help maintain the health and nutrition of their animals. Automatic feeding systems improve farm efficiency and reduce the amount of manual labor required for the proper care of livestock. However, frequent monitoring is necessary to ensure that food and water shortages do not occur.
By providing wireless connectivity to silo sensor devices, like mechanical plummets and ultrasonic sensors, farmers can easily monitor the contents of their silos in real-time. Digi’s XBee® ZB wireless modules, embedded into these sensors, create a secure, reliable ZigBee mesh network. Each ZigBee-enabled sensor on the network strengthens the network by increasing redundancy, ensuring network reliability.
Data from the sensors is communicated to a ConnectPort® X4 gateway, which aggregates the data and transmits it over a cellular connection to Device Cloud by Etherios™. Using a PC or a smartphone to access Device Cloud, the farmer can view the status of any or all of the silos at anytime. Device Cloud can even be configured to send email, SMS or other types of alerts whenever silo values reach designated thresholds.
Even in remote locations and harsh conditions, data can be sent securely and made available using a variety of delivery methods, allowing farmers to intervene when automated operations on the farm do not go according to plan.