Virtual reality can make animal behavior comprehensible to humans. With the help of "virtual" cow goggles, the aim is to achieve greater animal welfare in our dealings with each other. Vion introduces the new VR technology.
The Dutch-German meat group Vion is also using VR technology to optimize new construction and renovation work at its slaughterhouse stables in Altenburg, Thuringia. A virtual "cow goggle," which allows the visual perception of a cow to be experienced via VR glasses, is intended to increase the comprehensibility of the animals' behavior and thus ensure improvements in animal handling. The goggles, developed by Benito Weise, an employee of the Agricultural Training Center in Echem (LBZ), together with a team of specialists, simulate the field of vision of a female cow in its current environment.
Whether light changes, color differences or ground changes - a specially developed helmet camera projects the visual perception of a cow onto the user's VR goggles. In parallel, the images are recorded - as here by Peter Menzel, programmer of the cow goggle software from the LBZ Echem - for the purpose of real-time monitoring and later analysis.
For project manager Weise, the aspect of animal welfare can thus also be better implemented in the planning and redesign of slaughterhouses. The "cow goggles inventor" has already received awards for his development; in 2020, the cow goggles were honored by the Lower Saxony Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection with the Digitalization Award for Agriculture & Nutrition.
The text first published on fleischwirtschaft.de