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21 June, 2021 - 21:54 By Tony Quested

Cambridge University spin-out in Welsh farming and tourism 5G trials

Cambridge University smart sensors spin-out UtterBerry is using innovative 5G technology to help transform Welsh tourism and agriculture. It says the technology will save farmers time and resources as well as enhance local tourist attractions.

The Welsh Government leads the project in association with the UK Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) 5G Testbeds & Trials programme: Rural Connected Communities.

UtterBerry, founded by Heba Bevan in 2013, will work on several features of the 5G connectivity initiative. Once connected its end-to-end technology will be used for automated routines for feeding, lighting and cultivation, saving key resources like water, electricity and food. 

Farmers will also be able to use the technology to track resources levels as well as the whereabouts of their livestock, saving time and money. The venture will also help farms ramp up productivity and play their part in the race to net-zero emissions as the UK looks forward to hosting COP26. 

This is not the first time that UtterBerry’s technology has been used in this way. At Ascot racecourse, it was used to detect whether the grounds needed maintenance, saving staff time and resources. Similarly, at Thames Water Greenwich Pumping Station, UtterBerry’s solution was used to check and warn operators of any leaks. 

Farming won’t be the only sector in Wales benefiting from this technology. UtterBerry will enhance Welsh tourism by bringing new features to Raglan Castle in the Welsh county of Monmouthshire. 

Raglan Castle will be used as a ‘test bed’ to trial these new features, with the hopes of expanding this new service to other key tourist sites. The 5G connection will provide visitors with enhanced interactivity with the castle and exhibits, offering an immersive tourism experience. 

Visitors will be able to access information about hidden points of interest in and outside the castle. The castle can use accurate location information to pinpoint the physical location of each user, which can be used for indoor 3D maps for the users to follow. Through use of this new technology, historic buildings will be brought to life for students, for example.  

UtterBerry will further supply Raglan Castle with its sensors to monitor areas prone to damage or collapse from natural causes. Physical phenomena such as tilt, vibration, temperature and displacement will be measured and will alert staff of any dangers. 

The UK Government’s Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman said: “5G has so much to offer the agricultural sector so we’re proud to be powering its rollout to farms across Wales via our £200 million trials programme.

“This is a fantastic project from UtterBerry and 5G Wales Unlocked which will help farms ramp up productivity and play their part in the race to net-zero emissions. I look forward to seeing it in action and using the lessons learned to level up farms across the UK.”

UtterBerry CEO Heba Bevan added: “UtterBerry is proud to be working on this 5G project with DCMS to revolutionise farming, helping farmers save water, electricity and resources. 

“As the UK looks forward to hosting COP26 conference this Autumn we are delighted to be part of an innovative project that will help the farming industry in the push towards net zero emissions. 

“We also look forward to the broader positive changes the team at UtterBerry will make to the area such as enhanced connectivity and automation in rural areas, transport, and real time structural monitoring of historic buildings.”

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