New tech­nol­ogy to help de­ter wild dog at­tacks

The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - Front Page - Cas­san­dra Glover Cas­san­dra.Glover@ru­ral­

CLUS­TER fenc­ing has been chang­ing the liveli­hoods of farm­ers around Aus­tralia by pro­vid­ing pro­tec­tion against wild dogs. How­ever, Lon­greach farmer, Keith Gor­don no­ticed there were still some is­sues that could be fixed. Keith Gor­don co-founded Out­back Prop­erty So­lu­tions with elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer An­drew Bar­ton and be­gan de­vel­op­ing a prod­uct that can de­tect the pres­ence of wild dogs and de­ter them. The idea orig­i­nated in Lon­greach when Mr Gor­don re­alised the wild dogs were still get­ting onto his prop­erty through the chan­nel coun­try. He then con­tacted Mr Bar­ton who works as an en­gi­neer in Bris­bane. The pair grew up to­gether and de­cided to work to­gether to de­velop the soft­ware.

“They (clus­ter fences) work re­ally well on the flat coun­try but where it goes into chan­nel coun­try it be­comes more dif­fi­cult,” Mr Bar­ton said.

“As the wa­ter rises it pushes the fence away. So the fences still need to be able to cross the chan­nel pad­docks.

“So the soft­ware de­tects when a dog is com­ing close and de­ters the dog away. It cre­ates a vir­tual fence.”

The prod­uct will come in two parts - Dog De­tect and Dog De­ter. Dog De­tect uses cam­eras mounted on poles, pow­ered by so­lar pan­els and bat­ter­ies, that are strate­gi­cally placed through­out the pad­dock in order to de­tect the dogs. Dog De­ter will then use lights and sounds to de­ter the dogs.

Mr Bar­ton said as far as he knew the vir­tual fenc­ing would be a world first.

“We’re de­vel­op­ing the first part of the soft­ware which is the part the de­tects the dogs. This is the first step in a multi-step pro­gram of work,” Mr Bar­ton said.

“We’re do­ing a soft launch in the Dog De­tect. We want to do an ex­ten­sive pe­riod of tri­alling be­fore we make it com­mer­cially avail­able.

“De­cem­ber last year we did the first main tri­als in Lon­greach. To date it’s only been tri­alled in one spot west of Lon­greach, and now we want to go to the next phase and trial it on lots of dif­fer­ent sites.

“We’re look­ing for peo­ple who want to be in­volved in tri­alling the of the prod­uct. Even though it’s come from cen­tral west its not ex­clu­sive to the cen­tral west.” Mr Bar­ton said ev­ery six months the de­vel­op­ment team stays with the farm­ers who are tri­alling the prod­uct in order to bet­ter de­velop the soft­ware.

“The tech­ni­cal team is in Bris­bane and then we have the con­nec­tion to the land to trial it,” Mr Bar­ton said.

“So we’re re­ally bring­ing that city coun­try to­gether.”

Mr Bar­ton said they are hop­ing that Dog De­tect will be com­mer­cially avail­able in the next 12 months.

They are also hop­ing to start tri­alling Dog De­ter in the com­ing 12 months. Ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est are wel­come for those keen to par­tic­i­pate in the trial pro­gram.

For more in­for­ma­tion call (07) 4658 9227.


VIR­TUAL FENCE: Keith Gor­don hold­ing the OPS Dog De­tect sen­sor.

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