Instantly measure with your smartphone! “Pig weight estimation application” helps reduce the burden on the pig farmer

“Digital eye catching” is an application of eye-catching specialist

In industry terms, the idea is to estimate the weight from the start of the pig. It takes less effort and time than a scale to measure one by one but requires years of experience and skill. Also, it is difficult to consistently determine the exact weight because the measured values ​​differ from person to person.

However, with “Digital Eyes”, anyone can easily achieve a clear eye just by taking a photo of a pig with the camera on the smartphone.

“The reason for the development is that we weighed the pigs during training after joining the company,” said Fukunaga. It is not easy to guide pigs over 100 kg to gain weight, so Mr. Fukunaga investigated in advance whether it was necessary to weigh those pigs.

“In Japan, when transporting meat, people have a“ rating ”of the 5 best, above, average, average and equal, depending on carcass weight, back fat thickness, appearance and meat quality. Therefore, meat that does not fit in a certain weight range loses its value.

However, large-scale breeders do not have time to measure each individual because of the large number of livestock. So when I learned how to measure it, I found that I had visually estimated the weight and shipped it.

You don’t even have to put the pig on the scale. And I think if it is realized by IT technology, it will save labor force and improve economic efficiency of farmers, so I planned to develop “Digital Eye”.

Subsequently, ITOCHU Feed Co., Ltd. welcomed NTT Technocross Co., Ltd, which operates in the field of IT agriculture and strong in image analysis technology, as a development partner and seriously embarked on “Digital Eyes” development. .

Collect data on more than 100 pigs

“Digital Mekan” was first developed as a smartphone application available in the market so that it could be made available sooner and cheaper.

However, given the limitations of smartphone usage, it is difficult to think of ways to fully perform services. “NTT Technocross engineers have been researching various smartphone models and patented technologies, and after trial and error we have finally come to the present method. “

I also had difficulty modeling weight estimates during development. We measured six items such as weight, height and width from over 100 pigs, and collected images of pigs in various poses. However, it is difficult to collect data because the pigs have moved.

With the cooperation of pig breeders, the development of “Digital Mekan” was also supported. Using the application prototypes, we received comments on requirements and functional improvements, and made improvements.

Why can you estimate the weight of a pig with your smartphone camera?

An example of a pig depth data

The weight estimate of “Digital Eyes” is based on pre-collected “weight estimation images and models”. A “image and weight estimation model” was created by collecting large amounts of images of pigs captured and weight data.

When a pig is photographed with a smartphone camera, the area that the pig is reflected in the captured image is measured immediately based on the estimated model. It is a mechanism that displays the appropriate weight value on the screen.

In addition, to calculate the size of the pig more accurately, the distance to the pig is adjusted using a depth sensor. Highest accuracy when shooting from the top, but it can also be estimated from the front or rear. Although it varies slightly depending on shooting conditions, the error is within 5 km.

“The accuracy of the estimate depends on the number of pre-collected images and the sample size of the weight value, so we will continue to collect data by changing breed and pig size and angle. take a shot.”

In many cases, the weight of a pig is often measured by a pair of people, but it is thought that the introduction of the “digital eye” will make it possible for even one person to measure the weight. It is said that it can be expected to lead to a decrease. He also believes it may contribute to balancing the shipping weight of farmers with large and difficult to measure animals.

“To weigh a pig with the human eye takes a lot of experience so it takes time to pass on technology. However, if you use” Digital Eye “, you can get the estimated weight. thought it would be helpful in terms of eye transmission, because we could answer each other on the spot to see if they match. “

How to use “Digital Eye”

The “Digital Eyes” app icon

Then what kind of procedure can be used for “Digital Eyes”?

The release date of “Digital Mekan” has not been decided yet, but it will be on display for reference at the “International Exhibition of Chicken and Pig Production 2018” which will be held from May 30 to May 1. 6. Monthly usage fee is 15,000 yen. Prepare your own smartphone with app support and download apps from the app store. Then, enter the product key given by Itochu Feed Co., Ltd. granted and used according to the contract term.

“In April, we can only prepare an estimated model that is 80 to 120 kg, but in the future we plan to make it compatible with breeds of black pigs and piglets. .

We have also been developing it as an app for smartphones. In the future, we are looking at using a dedicated terminal to look at improvements in functionality, durability, on-farm usability and requirements from swine farmers. “

“Digital eye” contributes to reduce measurement work and improve economic efficiency. We must keep an eye on how the trend of service launch will affect the pig industry.

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Image by Itochu Feed Co., Ltd.