Purdue University Mark

Purdue University

Cyber-Animal Systems

Sustainable Precision Animal Agriculture

The Collaborative Robotics Lab is engaged in a variety of projects investigating the sustainability, safety, efficiency, and productivity of animal agriculture and its impacts on global health and well-being. Through support from the National Science Foundation, US Department of Agriculture, NSF RoSe-HuB Center, and supporting companies and through collaborations with ECE, ME, Animal Science, Penn State University, and Virginia Tech, we are exploring the farm ecosystem and its far-reaching impacts on global climate, the soil microbiome, water and land use, and the economy of the family farm.

New Class on Cyber-Animal Systems!! "Technology-Enhanced Animal Welfare"

Sustainable Precision Dairy Ag

CPS - Closed Loop Precision Animal Agriculture

Under USDA grant 2018-67007-28439, Purdue is leading a CPS project on Closed-Loop Precision Animal Agriculture for Global Sustainability. Sustainable Precision Animal Ag

NRI - RUMENS: Rumen Understanding through Millipede-Engineered Navigation and Sensing

Under USDA grant 2019-67021-28990, Purdue is particiating on an NRI project on Rumen Understanding through Millipede-Engineered Navigation and Sensing (RUMENS).

RumenNet - 3-Layer CPS Reference Architecture for the Connected Cow

RumenNet Icon

A primary goal of USDA/NIFA CPS grant, Closed-Loop Precision Animal Agriculture for Global Sustainability, is the development of a CPS reference architecture to return to the individualized care offered by the traditional family farm. We are developing a 3-layer network, from edge to cloud, that gathers data from inside the animals themselves and centralizes it in the cloud for intelligent access. Along the way, the data is processed through the series of network layers and analytics to extract individual-, herd-, and farm-level data for farmers to act on. This enhances farm productivity, animal health and safety, as well as animal welfare and anxiety, which is known to positively feedback into productivity and health.

Sustainable 3-Layer CPS Network

Dashboard Demo

RumenComm - Biosafe Communications via Body Area Networks for Animals

RumenComm Icon

RumenNet is dependent on RumenComm for the bottom layer of the network. This is a dedicated Wireless Body Sensor Network research effort to better understand the electromagnetic characteristics of the cow and to use that information to better design a safe, low-power method of edge data extraction from in vivo sensors.

Body Sensor Network

RumenScope - Database of Electro-Magneto-Spatio-Dynamics of the Connected Cow


RumenStealth - Authentication-Free Security via Semi-Supervised Rogue Software Detection

RumenStealth Icon

RumenSense - Bio-Compatible Sensors for Animal Health, Welfare and Productivity

RumenSense Icon


RUMENSoft - Soft Robotics for in vivo Gathering of Individualized Animal Data

RUMENSoft Icon

The current collaboration with Penn State has developed a miniature, rigid, modular robot as the initial sensor delivery platform. However, rigid structures for in vivo exploration have proven troublesome, in many biological applications. We are pursuing soft tensegrity structures for in vivo mobility and novel buoyancy-based locomotion paradigms.


This Penn State/Purdue collaboration mated the peristaltic propulsion module with a 2-DoF articulating joint module to produce a steerable modular inch-worm robot.

The same articulating joint module acts as a novel buoyancy control joint for this neutrally buoyant robot for sensors positioning. Net buoyancy control allows the robot to move up and down while "buoyancy gaits" allow the robot to control its orientation and translation with static poses and buoyancy changes. The buoyant "flippers" on the ends are shaped to produce hydrodynamic reaction forces during vertical movement.

Some of this work is co-sponsored by the NSF Center for Robots and Sensors for the Human Well-Being (RoSe-HUB). This site also reflects work as a participant in the National Science Foundation grant CNS-1450342.

Publications on Precision Animal Ag

  • Datta, Arunashish, Kaur, Upinder, Malacco, Victor, Nath, Mayukh, Chatterjee, Baibhab, Donkin, Shawn S., Voyles, Richard M. and Sen, Shreyas, "Sub-GHz In-Body to Out-of-Body Communication Channel Modeling for Ruminant Animals for Smart Animal Agriculture," in IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, vol. 70, no. 4, pp. 1219-1230, April 2023, doi: 10.1109/TBME.2022.3213262.
  • Upinder Kaur, Rammohan Sriramdas, Xiaotian Li, Xin Ma, Arunashish Datta, Barbara Roqueto dos Reis, Shreyas Sen, Kristy Daniels, Robin White, Richard M. Voyles, Shashank Priya, Indwelling robots for ruminant health monitoring: A review of elements, Smart Agricultural Technology, Volume 3, 2023, 100109, ISSN 2772-3755, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atech.2022.100109.
  • Upinder Kaur and Richard M. Voyles. 2022. CASPER: Criticality-Aware Self-Powered Wireless in-vivo Sensing Edge for Precision Animal Agriculture. In Proceedings of the 20th ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (SenSys '22). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 1123–1129. https://doi.org/10.1145/3560905.3568419
  • Kaur, U., Ma, X., Voyles, R.M., Min, BC. (2022). Malware Detection Using Pseudo Semi-Supervised Learning. In: El Yacoubi, M., Granger, E., Yuen, P.C., Pal, U., Vincent, N. (eds) Pattern Recognition and Artificial Intelligence. ICPRAI 2022. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 13364. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-09282-4_31.
  • U. Kaur, Z. B. Celik and R. M. Voyles, "Robust and Energy Efficient Malware Detection for Robotic Cyber-Physical Systems," 2022 ACM/IEEE 13th International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems (ICCPS), Milano, Italy, 2022, pp. 314-315, doi: 10.1109/ICCPS54341.2022.00048.
  • L. Xin, G. Chiu and S. Sundaram, "Finite Sample Guarantees for Distributed Online Parameter Estimation with Communication Costs," 2022 IEEE 61st Conference on Decision and Control (CDC), Cancun, Mexico, 2022, pp. 5980- 5985, doi: 10.1109/CDC51059.2022.9992593.
  • L. Xin, G. Chiu, and S. Sundaram. “Learning the dynamics of autonomous linear systems from multiple trajectories.” In American Control Conference, 2022
  • L. Xin, L. Ye, G. Chiu, and S. Sundaram. “Identifying the dynamics of a system by leveraging data from similar systems.” In American Control Conference, 2022
  • Chan Su Han, Upinder Kaur, Huiwen Bai, Barbara Roqueto dos Reis, Robin White, Robert A Nawrocki, Richard M. Voyles, Min Gyu Kang, and Shashank Priya, "Invited Review: Sensor technologies for real-time monitoring of the rumen environment," in Journal of Dairy Science, Volume 105, Issue 8, 2022, Pages 6379-6404.
  • Arunashish Datta, Upinder Kaur, Victor Marco Rocha Malacco, Mayukh Nath, Baibhab Chatterjee, Shawn Donkin, Richard Voyles, Shreyas Sen, "In-body to Out-of-body Communication Channel Modeling for Ruminant Animals for Smart Animal Agriculture," in IEEE Intl. Conf. on Engineering in Medicine & Biology, 2021
  • Upinder Kaur, Haozhe Zhou, Xiaxin Shen, Byung-Cheol Min, and Richard M. Voyles, "RoboMal: Malware Detection for Robot Network Systems," in Proc. of the IEEE Intl. Conf. on Robotic Computing, 2021.
  • Yuanmeng Huang, Jonathan Miller, Upinder Kaur, Yubing Han, Ram M.S. Ramdas, Shashank Priya, Richard M. Voyles, "Hybridization Through Modularity: Exploring Complex Modes of Locomotion with a `Bag of Robotic Modules'," in Proc. of the 5th IEEE/IFToMM Intl. Conf. on Reconfigurable Mechanisms and Robots, Aug, 2021, Toronto.
  • Y Yang, RA Nawrocki, RM Voyles, HH Zhang, "Modeling of the electrical characteristics of an organic field effect transistor in presence of the bending effects," in Organic Electronics, v. 88, 2021.
  • Y Yang, R Nawrocki, R Voyles, HH Zhang, "Modeling of an Internal Stress and Strain Distribution of an Inverted Staggered Thin-Film Transistor Based on Two-Dimensional Mass-Spring-Damper Structure," in Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences, v. 125, n. 2, pp. 515-539, 2020.
  • Kateryna Vyshniakova, Egon Pavlica, Victor Marco Rocha Malacco, Alexandros Yiannikouris, Thirupathi Reddy Yerramreddy, Shawn S Donkin, Richard M Voyles, Robert A Nawrocki, "Impedimetric, PEDOT: PSS-Based Organic Electrochemical Sensor for Detection of Histamine for Precision Animal Agriculture," in IEEE Sensors Letters, v. 4, n. 10, pp. 1-4, 2020.
  • Huiwen Bai, Kateryna Vyshniakova, Egon Pavlica, Alexandros Yiannikouris, Thirupathi Reddy Yerramreddy, Richard M Voyles, Robert A Nawrocki, "Organic Electrochemical, PEDOT: PSS-Based Impedimetric Histamine Sensor," in ECS Meeting Abstracts, v. 29, pp. 2225, 2020.
  • MV Balakuntala, M Ayad, RM Voyles, R White, R Nawrocki, S Sundaram, S Priya, G Chiu, S Donkin, BC Min, K Daniels, "Global Sustainability through Closed-Loop Precision Animal Agriculture," in Mechanical Engineering Magazine, June, 2018, v. 140, n. 6, pp. S19-S23, Pub: American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • U Kaur, RM Voyles, S Donkin, "Future of Animal Welfare - Technological Innovations for Individualized Animal Care," chapter 17 of Improving Animal Welfare: A Practical Approach, 3rd Edition, 2021, Pub: CAB International

Robotics Sources

Distributed Robotics Source List

Semiconductor Manufacturers

Copyright: © 2019-2021, 2023 by Richard M. Voyles

rvoyles [at] purdue [dot] edu

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600