Shepherd Drones

Industry: Drone technology

Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) costs the U.S. cattle industry approximately $2 billion a year, stemming mostly from the slowing of feed conversion and the use (and overuse) of anti-microbial drugs. Current practice has horseback riders inspecting sometimes 10,000 cattle manually per day, looking for signs of BRD infection.

Shepherd Drones has created a solution for this problem: A drone mounted with an infrared camera and RFID antenna capable of monitoring large herds of cattle for instances of fever or elevated body temperature. Signs of fever occur early in a case of BRD, often before visual signs that would tip off a rancher, allowing the drone to inform ranchers before the cattle can infect others.

The positive predictive value of existing techniques is approximately 30%, meaning that 2/3 of the cattle given antimicrobials are treated unnecessarily. 

By identifying infected cattle earlier and more accurately, Shepherd Drones believes its product could considerably reduce the use of anti-microbial drugs, thus improving food safety and lowering antibiotic resistance.

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