Revolutionizing Agriculture: How Unique Aussie Design is Winning Awards and Helping Farmers
The Water Rat from Farmo is helping farmers all over Australia to keep track of their water supply. Designed by Nick Seymour, who was working on a cattle farm near Hamilton in Victoria at the time, the Water Rat is a device that monitors water levels in troughs and tanks. It works by tilting over when the water level drops, triggering an alert to your phone or PC in real time. The best thing about the Water Rat, according to Nick, is that you don't need one for every trough. It has a GPS inside it, so you can move it every time you move the mob, and its new location will show up on your farm map automatically. This solves one of the major problems with trough monitoring, which had been prohibitive capital expenditure for something that is not in use all the time.
The Water Rat has won several awards, including the Good Design Award Winner Accolade in the Product Design category. The Australian Good Design Awards are regarded as the highest honour for design and innovation in Australia, with more than 30 categories and sub-categories across 11 design disciplines. The awards recognize the best new products and services on the Australian and global market, as well as excellence in architectural design, engineering, fashion, digital and communication design, design strategy, social impact design, design research, and up-and-coming design talent in the next-gen category. The judges commented on the Water Rat, stating that it is critical to monitor the availability of water to animals on any farm. The Water Rat's ability to replace buoyancy with gravity using an accelerometer and low power micro processing to detect a change in the tilt angle of a floating device within an animal's water source is clever. Additionally, the Water Rat can send a low water alert to the user's mobile phone or PC via a narrowband signal, making it a brilliant solution.
The Water Rat has also won the South-west Victorian Dairy Innovation Challenge and the local sustainability-environmental award. Judges said the simplicity of the Water Rat addressed a real issue for farmers that has significant consequences. Farmers who have bought the Water Rat have given it high praise, with testimonials on the Farmo website at www.farmo.com.au attesting to its effectiveness. The Water Rat not only alerts farmers to problems with their water supply, but historical data can reveal troughs that were going empty for a couple of hours every day, information that can be used to reduce herd size or increase the pipe size to ensure the cattle have sufficient water supply.
If you're a farmer in NSW, you're in luck. The Water Rat is included in the Farms of the Future Agtech Catalogue, and farmers can purchase devices from the approved Program Partners (suppliers) that feature in this catalogue and be reimbursed through the FOTF grant program. To learn more about the Water Rat or any of Farmo's products, call them at 1300-540-300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.