Swine team takes gold for device that prevents piglet deaths

Swine team takes gold for device that prevents piglet deaths
Nov 07, 2017

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SmartGuard can detect whether or not a piglet is in distress

 

 

By Kaitlynn Anderson

Staff Reporter

Farms.com

 

Agriculture took centre stage last week when two students at the University of Iowa won gold at the 2017 Collegiate Inventors Competition in North Canton, OH.

Matthew Rooda and Abraham Espinoza, who competed alongside 27 other post-secondary students and their faculty advisers from 12 American colleges and universities, took first place in the undergraduate category. 

 

Matthew Rooda

Source: National Inventors Hall of Fame

 

Their SmartGuard invention prevents sows from crushing their piglets by monitoring the “pitch, loudness and duration of (piglet) squeals,” according to Friday’s release from the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

The sound is analyzed to determine whether a piglet is in distress or not.

If the piglet is deemed to be in distress, “the device sends a vibration to a wearable patch on the mother, prompting her to stand and free her piglet,” the release said.

 

 

Abraham Espinoza

Source: National Inventors Hall of Fame

 

The students, along with Thomas Hornbeck, their faculty adviser, also won the Arrow Innovation Prize for their device. This award provides the team with a private networking opportunity with a group of innovators from Arrow Electronics, according to the release.

Over the past couple of years, “the Collegiate Inventors Competition has seen an increase in the quantity and quality of agricultural submissions,” Ken Torisky, public relations coordinator with the National Inventors Hall of Fame, said to Farms.com yesterday. 

In fact, last year’s finalists consisted of two groups, SmartPOT from the University of Colorado and AgroSpheres from the University of Virginia, who also created agricultural inventions.

“AgroSpheres won the undergraduate gold medal for its invention that increased the degradation times of pesticides,” said Torisky.

In the spring, the application process will begin for the 2018 awards, he said.

More information can be found on National Inventors Hall of Fame website.

 

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