Location: Tick and Biting Fly Research2011 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.
3. Progress Report
During FY 2011, ARS scientists and a CRADA cooperator continued collaboration with this industry partner to further refine and develop injection molding tools and prototype thermal polymer parts of proprietary collar 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. Numerous informational contacts were made, and concept drawings were exchanged among ARS, the SCA partner, and the CRADA partner. Test collars were constructed from prototype parts, and field tests were conducted at the KBUSLIRL in Kerrville, TX. Deficiencies discovered during tests were rectified through engineering changes in the molds, and 2nd and 3rd iterations of prototype parts were produced and field tested. Current tests have determined that parts are significantly more reliable and robust, and deer now are being routinely collared and de-collared automatically through interaction with individually assigned radio frequency identification (RFID) tags attached to individually identified collars. The ADODR monitored progress through site visits, telephone discussions, exchanges of emails, and receipt, examination, and field testing of parts.