[RACING] Use horse microchips with EQUIMETRE

USE OF THE VETERINARIAN MICROCHIP WITH EQUIMETRE‌

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With EQUIMETRE, you can automatically identify a horse by scanning its microchip. This feature allows the seamless integration of EQUIMETRE into the daily lives of trainers and riders.

EQUIMETRE’s scanning technology, combined with its measurement capabilities (heart-rate measurement, speed analysis using GPS, distance and time interval measurement, along with its inertial measurement unitanalyzing the stride frequency and length) makes EQUIMETRE the most versatile tool on the market for measuring racehorses’ physical and physiological performance during training.  

In the video below, you can discover how EQUIMETRE can be used to identify a horse by scanning its microchip. This is followed by an interview with the Arioneo Research and Development team to learn more about the technical challenges involved in the development of this feature.

[INTERVIEW] INTEGRATION OF HORSE MICROCHIP SCANNING IN EQUIMETRE

Guillaume Dubois, PhD, Scientific Director and Clément Beaudoing, Software Engineer, from the Research and Development team of ARIONEO tell us more about the integration of the reading of the veterinary chip within EQUIMETRE.

  • How did you come up with the idea of using horse microchips in EQUIMETRE?

We came up with the idea to use horse microchips by thinking about the daily routine of trainers and jockeys and their need to easily link a training session with a horse. 

By linking the microchip number, which is unique to each horse, to the data generated by EQUIMETRE, we can make the training session/horse link.  This means that there’s no need to note down which horse the EQUIMETRE was attached to.

  • What technical challenges were involved in this project?

The microchips used in horses have a unique frequency.  This makes reading the microchip difficult, which presented a technical challenge.

As a result, we had to find a compromise between the size of the microchip reader and the strength and frequency that it emits.  The most complicated aspect of the development was linking these three elements, along with the challenge of creating a relatively compact device which can nonetheless scan deep enough and at the right frequency.

A major difficulty was designing and configuring the antenna in a very precise way.  When designing an antenna, the number of spirals – that is, the number of turns that the antenna has – needs to be determined and has an impact on the antenna’s configuration.  This is relatively crucial for the production of the antenna. You also need to take into account the resistance of the wire used, the overall resistance of the antenna and its inductance. 

  • Is there a specific protocol to follow to integrate this feature?  What is the difference between reading a horse microchip and classic contactless microchip readers more generally?

To read horse microchips, it is necessary to interpret the bits (either 0 or 1). An algorithm is used in order to accurately identify what the recorded information corresponds to.

The algorithm serves primarily to interpret the very precise frequency, which is different from a passive RFID (usually 13,56MHz) and the specific frequency of the antenna.  This means that the components are completely different and it’s not possible to use conventional RFID models.

  • From a user’s point of view, what are the advantages of having and using a horse microchip reader in EQUIMETRE?

This is a simple and easy-to-use feature for users, which allows them to link EQUIMETRE to a horse for training sessions without having to worry about which device was put on each horse.  For example, the trainer doesn’t need to note down that, “Today jockey 1 put EQUIMETRE 1 on X horse”.

Regardless of the device used for any given training session, the link is automatically made between the horse and its training session.

  • How did you come up with this concept? Do you do your own development at Arioneo? 

To include this feature in EQUIMETRE, we were inspired by existing systems and we created the parts needed for our project. The development process was carried out internally at Arioneo’s offices.

We contacted the producers of pet microchips, who gave us some helpful tips.  We also wanted to work with vets and we discovered that they were relatively uninformed about this feature, given that it’s really something very technical in nature.

We had to use standard electronic components which already existed on the market so as to avoid inventing an electronic component specific to our needs. Then, the difficulty was to reduce it to miniature size and to obtain the right frequency and the right reading depth.  That was the most labor-intensive part of the project, as explained previously.

  • How do you see this feature evolving in the future?

We are currently working on all fronts to improve upon what we have already produced.  This development process is underway and we already have several ideas about how to improve the reading depth and optimize the materials used.  In addition, different frequencies are used in North America, particularly in the United States, so we need to work on developing a system that can read multiple frequencies.

We hope to be able to implement this development in the near future in the next version of EQUIMETRE.

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EQUIMETRE SENSOR HEART RATE GPS

EQUIMETRE is the technology dedicated to the race horse training and allows to mesure :

  • HEART RATE (HR LEVEL DURING EFFORT/AT REST)

  • GPS ( DISTANCE/SPEED/INTERVALS/COURSE)

  • LOCOMOTION (STRIDE LENGTH/STRIDE FREQUENCY)
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