Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 23-6 - 37

Fig. 9. Plot of data captured for a cow walking over the platform (FL: Front Left, RL: Rear Left, RR: Rear Right, FR: Front Right).

Asymmetry in weight distribution over the limbs can be used
to detect lameness.
Fig. 10 and Fig. 11 show the signals captured from a healthy
cow (ID: 55) and a level 2 lame cow (ID: 123), respectively. For
the healthy cow (Fig. 10), the signals are clean and reach the
same peaks (front and rear) with the same time duration and
are symmetrical to the contralateral limb. For the lame cow
(Fig. 11), the signal from the right back hoof shows that less
weight is being applied for a shorter duration compared to the
left back hoof, indicating reluctance to bear weight.
Several gait variables calculated from kinematic measurements have been described in [10], and [13]. Asymmetry in limb
weight is defined as the Mean difference in relative force exerted
by the limbs between left and right hoof imprints, one each for

the front and rear limbs. Asymmetry in diagonal weights is the
Mean difference in relative force exerted by the diagonal limbs
(between LF,RH and RF,LH). Asymmetry in side weights is the
Mean difference in relative force exerted by the limbs on the opposite sides. All of these parameters are indicators of tenderness
in the hoof. These are plotted in Fig. 12. The healthy cow (ID:
55) shows that all the parameters have a difference of less than
15 kg, with the largest asymmetry being in Diagonal Weights at
14 kg. On the other hand, the lame cow (ID: 123) presents large
asymmetry in weights, with the total difference in Side Weights
being over 100 kg. Trials done with 21 level-2 (moderate) lame
cows show that the average asymmetry in Side Weights is 35 kg.
The values of the gait variables are passed to the inference engine to decide whether a cow is lame or not.

Table 3 - Comparison of dynamic weight to static weight of ten dairy cows
Static Weight (kg)

Average Dynamic Weight
(kg)

Error (kg)

982 091001734424

550.00

534.70

-15.30

982 091001734362

552.10

536.20

-15.90

982 000124839853

562.00

549.60

-12.40

982 091001734048

500.70

491.30

-9.40

942 000015200296

455.10

440.50

-14.60

982 123464531778

387.60

376.20

-11.40

Cow EID

982 000091411599

550.20

535.60

-14.60

982 000091482234

594.60

580.70

-13.90

982 091001734420

522.10

512.80

-9.30

982 000091411587

616.00

596.20

-19.80

September 2020	

IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine	37



Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 23-6

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