A UK scientist has been awarded a research grant to develop technology that could see sheep used as roaming wireless routers to expand networks in rural areas. Gordon Blair, a professor at Lancaster University who specializes in distributed systems, wants to equip the animals with collars containing lightweight wireless sensors. These would communicate with other connectivity points, placed on riverbanks or trees, to create rural networks which could be used to monitor conditions such as rainfall and flooding.
Photo: Paul Woods / Flickr
On a local scale, the technology could be used by farmers to monitor livestock and environmental conditions over large areas, and by environmental organisations and councils to keep a check on flooding or pollution.
More widely, these linked sensor networks could enhance digital connectivity, boosting rural economies.