The so-called quiet life on the farm is actually one of the most high-tech places on earth. As envisioned by the University of Kentucky research team, drones could fly above cow herds as they graze, learn which cow is which, and visually check each cow so see if they’re healthy. Plus: someone invented a decoy computer keyboard for cats to sit on so they don’t sit on your actual keyboard, which is purr-fect.

Drones on the farm: Using facial recognition to keep cows healthy (CNet)

This heated fake keyboard was designed to fool your cat (Boing Boing)

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Monday, September 16: We’re Unleashing Drones On Cows And It’s For Their Health (Cool Weird Awesome 128)

I see a gritty reboot of “Rawhide” where the trail bosses all control drones from their smartphones.

Now, I’ve read the kids book “Click, Clack, Moo,” so I know that the most important factors in cow health are: do they have a typewriter, and do they have electric blankets?

But even knowing that, cow health is an ongoing and expensive challenge for farmers.

Keeping track of the health of each individual cow takes time and effort.

The University of Kentucky is testing whether drones could make that process a little easier.

Their concept is to have a group of drones fly above the herd as they’re grazing, and over time learn which cow is which.

They then visually check each cow so see if they’re moving and eating the way they should and maintaining their weight.

If something looks wrong, the farmer gets a notification, and can then check that cow in person, or refer her to the vet.

This system is still a long ways off, and who knows, maybe we’ll have a privacy debate about facial recognition for cows, the way we’re doing over detecting human faces.

But it’s another example of how the so-called quiet life on the farm is actually one of the most high-tech places on earth.

Anyone who owns both a computer and a cat knows those two things do not always peacefully coexist – and let’s just say it’s not computers’ faults that cats like to sit on them.

Boing Boing just noted that someone now holds a patent on what’s called the “Laptop or keyboard simulating pet bed.” It’s a decoy keyboard for the cat owner who can’t get their cat to stop sitting on computer keyboards – which is like every cat owner, right?