2013 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The objective of this planned study is to conduct research on and development of a proprietary white-tailed deer collaring assembly with improved function, reduced parts, increased reliability, and more robust construction than the current prototype assembly that is used with the newly developed robotically enhanced ARS-patented automatic collaring device for white-tailed deer. The resulting assembly will permit attachment of collars with a variety of functions, and will greatly improve the automated sizing for individual deer.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
ARS and Wildlife Management Technologies, LLC, Woodstock, CT, and CRADA partner with ARS will host engineers from Empire Prototype & Product Development, Inc., Attleboro, MA, at WMT facilities to view the new automatic collaring device and to receive schematics of suggested parts changes and prototype assemblies. Collaboration among all parties will be ongoing during all developmental phases, and periodic tests of functionality of incremental prototype designs will be done using the actual collaring device prior to mold manufacture and final parts production.
During FY 2013, ARS scientists continued collaboration with this industry partner to further reengineer and develop injection molding tools and prototype thermal polymer parts of proprietary collar attachment and detachment assemblies designed specifically to function with the 5th generation robotically enhanced and fully computer-assisted automatic collaring device for white-tailed deer that was designed and prototyped under an agreement with a separate vendor. The steel catch spring was modified to enhance maintenance of the collars on animals by increasing the force required for the collar to break free in the event of snagging, but still below the force sufficient to potentially harm the snagged animals. Test collars were constructed from prototype parts, and continued field tests were conducted in Kerrville, TX. These tests identified additional deficiencies, primarily in metal fatigue and brittleness of the polymer, that now have been improved or corrected.