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Student research wins at Traceability Symposium

November 03, 2016

A student applied-research project, completed by graduates of SAIT's Software Developer program, won the research poster award at the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency's Inaugural Traceability Symposium held on Nov. 2 and 3 in Calgary this year.

Elisa Choy, Penelope Foussekis, Hyelim Kang and Marlon Torres worked with principal investigator Sherry Yang, a software developer with SAIT's Applied Research and Innovation Services (ARIS) department, on a capstone project called "Chuckwagon Check-In" during their final term at SAIT in the spring of 2015.

Working with Yang in ARIS's Centre for Innovative Information Technology Solutions, the students were supported by the World Professional Chuckwagon Association (WPCA) to develop an automated high-tech system that would monitor the number of races, condition and transportation of the horses participating in chuckwagon events.

"For students, this kind of project gives them a real-world experience," says Yang. "They need to work with a client, professionally, and learn how to communicate and report on their progress."

The WCPA has a strict animal-care code that ensures the horses receive the necessary rest between races and after long-haul transport. The current tracking system is manual, paper-based, and prone to inaccuracies - not to mention time-consuming.

The integrated check-in and management system developed by the students used the web and mobile technologies, low-frequency (LF) radio frequency identification (RFID) and customized programming to solve the problem.

"During the project, they got to develop an android app," says Yang. "So this really expanded their learning."

By using the horses' existing LF-RFID microchip, an RFID reader and a Bluetooth connection to a tablet, the solution enables users to record accurate data and shortens the check-in process.

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