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May 1, 2002

Mechanical Engineer's Invention to be Developed by New Zealand Firm

An invention by UMBC mechanical engineering professor Uri Tasch that automatically detects lameness in dairy cattle has been licensed for development by a New Zealand-based firm in a deal that could save the global dairy industry millions annually.

DEC International New Zealand, Ltd., and UMBC reached a licensing agreement last month that allows for the commercialization of the device. Tasch invented the detector system during a three-year collaboration with scientists from the University of Maryland, College Park's Animal and Avian Science department.

Tasch estimates that the American dairy industry loses close to $500 million a year to livestock lameness, which is caused by infection, arthritis, or injury. There are billions of dollars a year at stake internationally. The system also saves farmers time, analyzing each cow automatically as it crosses the device platform on the way into the barn for feeding or milking.

The international dairy automation firm Bou-Matic of Madison, Wisconsin, will develop and market the product under a separate agreement with DEC International NZ.

Tasch's invention is the fourth of the year for UMBC. "It's a strong technology with great commercial potential," says Stephen Auvil, director of technology development at UMBC.

Posted by dwinds1 at May 1, 2002 12:00 AM