Design and Implementation Of Virtual Fencing Using RF Module

DOI : 10.17577/IJERTV1IS3053

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Design and Implementation Of Virtual Fencing Using RF Module

Vol. 1 Issue 3, May – 2012


Depart ment of Electronics and Co mmunication, PEC University of Technology, Chandigarh-160012, India


Design Engineer Coordinator of Academic&

Consultancy Services Div ision C-DA C, Mohali-160071 India


Assistant Professor, Depart ment of Electronics and Co mmunication, PEC Un iversity of Technology, Chandigarh-160012, India

ABSTRACT: Protecting biotopes and maintain ing biodiversity are the ecological a ims highlighted in European polic ies[2]. Current grazing systems are confronted with myriad of challenges which demands new fencing technologies. Hence a new technology is proposed based on RF module called Virtual Fenc ing. Th e system alerts the main object* whenever it crosses the virtual fence and also shows the object number wh ich has crossed the fence. Several benefits can be reaped from these Technology based on fencing(virtual fencing) like enhanced ecological management, reduction in hu man efforts by turning manual labour into cognitive labour & thus improving the life-style of livestock managers[1]. Essence of using the advance fencing technique is to reduce cost. Bringing more fle xib ility in fencing this new system cou ld lead to more precise management of grazing in protected zones and allows for environ mental renovation of wild areas. Ho wever despite many patents been registered; only very few p roducts are availabl e in the market.

Ke ywor ds : virtual fenc ing, cost, RF module, Eco logical management.


    Herd ing is very labour intensive activity. Anima ls need to be gauged & herded frequently between paddocks to prevent overgraz ing of any pasture[1] There are various fencing techniques viz conventional fencing, electric fencing which have been devised for controlling the anima ls within a boundary[3]. But conventional fencing has some limitat ions, e.g. the missing fle xibility and the labour costs to erect. This limitation paved the way for v irtual fencing becaus e biggest advantage of virtual fencing lies in t he fact that it enables the people to manage their gra zing live stocks fro m a distant place without even physically p resent in the fie ld.So in the quest of finding a cost effective solution for the manual wo rk (herding), a secondary study was carried out i.e virtua l fencing which can be defined as a structure serving as an enclosure, a barrie r, or a boundary without a physical barrier. The concept of vi rtual fencing finds its place in many discussions on livestock management and different approaches have been proposed for the development of virtual fencing which can be divided into three categories: first, to contain anima ls in a defined area or vic e-versa using devices that are anima l-borne; second, to contain animals without mounting a device on the anima l; and third, keeping animals apart with a moving fence line or using a virtual fence as a re mote gathering device[3]. Ho wever, they all have in co mmon t he fact that the system uses no physical barrie r on the landscape The concept of virtual fencing is more imperative to the people like stockpersons, scientists and nature conservationists which manage free-ranging anima ls[5]. The term virtual fence see ms to be used in a very broad sense and different concepts of its application e xist. However, the aim of this paper is to give another method i.e using RF module fo r virtual fencing technique because it is suitable for long range applications and it reduces the cost, looking a t the early and recent developments of the technology and the different e xisting concepts.


    A virtual fence can be defined as a structure serving as an enclosure or a boundary without a physical barrie r [the free dic t ionary 2010]. So c reate a hidden fencing has been created using RF trans mitter at one end and whenever object (anima l) tried to cross the range of transmitter, system will ale rt the anima l and a lso shows which object (numbe r) has crossed the fence. In addition, it c an also

    Object*: we can use any animal like cow or dog, here we have used a moving car for our experiment 1

    use the electric stimuli but it does not seem to be ethically accepted when discussing the topic with some stakeholders, scIiSeSnNti:s2ts27a8n-0d181 the public. The e lectric shock used as an aversive stimu lus can have anima l welfare imp licat ions, e.g. when repeatVeodl. e1leIscstureic3, sMtiamy u- l2i012 occur due to faulty collars, or the anima ls do not get a chance to learn before they get a shock[8].So accord ing to anima ls welfare

    standards only the audio warning sounds is used in this system. Various audio sounds like car -crash, dog-bark, lion tiger, and wildcat etc. So this whole pro ject is based upon RF module using microcontrolle r as shown in fig 1 below:

    Fig : 1 Flow chart of virtual fencing using RF Module.


    Whole System can be divide in six modules and below is the details description of each module.

    1. Contr ol Unit

      This control unit is the heart of the hardware of virtual fencing using RF module.

      Fig :2 Block Diagra m of Control Unit

      As shown in fig:2 control unit consist of microcontrolle r, LCD, Buzzer ,Encoder ,Decoder and discrete components which will send the data (same) to each receiver mounted on the anima l end i.e called electronic co lla r. Whenever any anima l crosses the pred efined

      Object*: we can use any animal like cow or dog, here we have used a moving car for our experiment 2

      range of fencing, the buzzer will be activated and we will receive informat ion about the particular cow on LCD conneIcStSeNd: 2to278th-0e181

      microcontroller and Range of the field can be fixed by selecting appropriate RF module of particula r frequency.

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    2. Li qui d Crystal Displ ay

      A Liquid c rystal display is interfaced to mic rocontroller unit & it is used to display the required information like wh ich cow is inside/outside the fence with the time etc.

    3. Re al Time Cl ock

      In this Project DS1307 Se ria l Real Time c lock is used for giving the information of date and time whenever any of the anima l try to cross the fence. DS 1307 have 56 bytes RAM. Address and data are serially transferred by 2-wire, bi-directional bus. The clock/calendar provides seconds, minutes, hours, day, date, month , and year information. It also provides Leap Year information. The DS1307 has a built-in power sense circuit that detects power fa ilures and automatically switches to the battery supply.

    4. Enc oder/ Decoder

      The RF module is often used along with a pair o f encoder/decoder. The encoder is used for encoding parallel data for transmission feed while reception is decoded by a decoder. HT12E-HT12D etc. are some co mmon ly used encoder/decoder pair ICs.

    5. RF Module

      The RF module operates at Radio Frequency which varies between 30 kHz & 300 GHz. Transmission through RF is better than IR (infrared) because it is suitable for long range applications. RF signals can also travel even when there is an obstruction b etween transmitter & rece iver and thats the reason it is more strong and reliable. The RF module comp rises of a RF Transmitter and RF Receiver pair wh ich operates at a frequency of 434 MHz. An RF trans mitter receives serial data and transmits it wire lessly through RF using its antenna connected at pin4. The transmissin occurs at the rate of 1Kbps – 10Kbps. Transmitted data is received by an RF receiver operating at the same frequency as that of the transmitter.

      3.5. Electr onic c ollar

      As shown in fig 3, Electronic collar consist of transmitter and receiver, buzzer & discrete components which are mounted on the cow neck to receive data from the control unit. Whenever anima l tries to cross the area it will transmit the data to control uni t and buzze r will be activated at both the end i.e at user as well as at anima l end & will continue buzzing till the animal has not come back in a predefined area. Pac ked electronic collar is shown in the fig: 4. It should be placed very carefully so that it doesnt fell down or disturbed during grazing & hence will not lead t o wrong information .The best position is above the neck of the anima l as shown in fig :5. It must have various features like fle xibility, portable light we ight, tightly packed etc.

      Fig:3 Block Diagra m o f Electronic Collar

      Fig : 4 Packed Electronic Colla r[2] Fig: 5 Co w with Electronic Co lla r[7]

      Object*: we can use any animal like cow or dog, here we have used a moving car for our experiment 3

  4. Result

    Fig :6 shows the prototype modal of virtual fenc ing using RF module

    Fig :6 prototype modal of v irtual fencing using RF module

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    Vol. 1 Issue 3, May – 2012

    Fig :7 shows the control module & continuously monitoring of the status of cows has been done and getting informat ion on LCD whether cow was outside or inside the fence as shown in fig:8 LCD showing cow1 :outside side fence and cow 2: outside fence means both the cows has crossed the range and suddenly buzzer has been activated and got a display on LCD.we have used moving car for our e xperiment. As shown in fig :9; cow2:inside fence it means cow 2 has been in the predefined range.

    (a ) (b)

    Fig 7: Control Unit

    (a ) (b)

    Fig 8: LCD showing outside fence

    Object*: we can use any animal like cow or dog, here we have used a moving car for our experiment 4

    Fig 9 :LCD showing Inside fence


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    Vol. 1 Issue 3, May – 2012

    On the basis of previous technology and proposed technology a comparison has been given in below Table:1 wh ich summa rizes the diffe rent features of the all the fencing technique:







    Not fle xib le

    Less fle xib le

    most fle xib le

    more fle xib le.


    Expensive to ma intain

    High ma intainers, earthling and regularly checked is required

    More e xpensive.

    Less expensive.


    Can injure wild life and livestock

    Prone to accidental

    injury if the anima ls caught up in electric current.

    Least accidents prone.

    Least accidents prone.


    High cost

    Medium cost

    Less cost



    visible for people

    visible for people

    Not visible for people

    Not visible for people


    Beneficia l in the fields adjacent to road.

    Not applicable in far flung areas.

    Not applicable wherever satellite connectivity is not present.

    Most applicable.

    Object*: we can use any animal like cow or dog, here we have used a moving car for our experiment 5

  6. Conclusion

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    Vol. 1 Issue 3, May – 2012

    Technology has given big impetus to the fencing technique. Inspite of some challenges a virtual fencing seems to be the futur e of fencing with technology further bolstering its usage. It has lots of benefits for the farme r for grazing their anima ls and also a cost effective and does not require a lot of labour.

  7. References:

  1. Zac k Butler, Peter Corke , Ron Peterson & Danie l Rus ,virtual fenc ing for controlling cows, proceeding of 2004 IEEE.

  2. M.O.Monod, P.Faure , L.Moirou x & P.Rea mau , A virtual fence fo r animlas manage ment in rangelands

  3. Zac k Butler, Peter Corke , Ron Peterson & Danie l Rus ,fro m robots to anima ls: virtual fencing fo r controlling cattle

[4]. R. Vaughan, N. Sunipter, A. Frost, and S. Ca meron, Robot sheepdog project achieves automatic flock control: Pmc. Fijih International Confe rence on the Sirnulat ion of Adaptive Belwvious, 1998.

[5]. T.M. Qu igley, H.R. Sanderson, A.R. Tiedemann, and M.K. McInnis, Livestock control with electrica l and audio stimu lation, Rangelands,June 1990.

[6]. D. Kleijn, and W. J. Sutherland, How effect ive are Eu ropean agrienviron ment schemes in conserving and promoting biodiversity

?, Journal of Applied Ecology, vol. 40.

[7]. J. Van den Bos, and J. P. Ba kker, The development of vegetation patterns by cattle grazing at low stocking density in the Netherlands, Biologica l Conservation, vol. 51, 1990.

[8]. Hafe z, E.S.E., Bouissou, M.F., 1975. The behaviour of cattle. In: Hafe z, E.S.E. (Ed.), The Behaviour of Do mestic A nimals. Willia ms and Wilkins,Ba ltimo re.

Object*: we can use any animal like cow or dog, here we have used a moving car for our experiment 6

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