Smarten up your farm with the Internet of Things

June 05, 2018
Written by Lisa McLean, AgInnovation
Sensor inside a cooler
Sensor inside a cooler blueRover
What if monitoring temperature controls was automated, and a grain bin itself could warn suppliers of low levels?

That’s the theory behind an emerging category of technology called “the Internet of things (IOT),” and it’s leading to better business outcomes for farms and food business across Canada.


Kyle Arbuckle, of Kitchener, Ontario-based blueRover, says agriculture and food is one key area of focus for the company, which serves clients across North America.

In agriculture, blueRover is developing new ways to give farmers cost-effective ways to be pre-warned on any non-optimal conditions on the farm and through the cold-chain.

“We focus on the business of perfect food safety and other business outcomes that will help business mitigate risk, increase compliance, decrease cost and differentiate their business amongst competitors,” says Arbuckle.

“We combine sensor technology, data intelligence and automated processes within a secure platform. Data streams visually, in real-time, so teams can pinpoint critical issues at the barn, processing plant, warehouse, in transport or anywhere else they could occur,” he adds.

In the technology industry, blueRover is considered a “full stack” IOT company. That means it engineers all aspects of a system, from sensors to servers, from hardware to software.

Customers are able to monitor important data points such as temperature, time, moisture and other quality control factors.

“We get deep into solving industry problems, and we take away the more mundane tasks of manually recording, inputting and interpreting data,” says Arbuckle. “BlueRover technology can retrofit almost any temperature or fill task to make it ‘smart.’ We’re problem-solvers.”

BlueRover first entered in to the agricultural technology space with its main product, SafeFood, a service that allowed users to monitor their cold storage facilities and assets in real-time to ensure compliance, quality, and food safety.

"Prior to using blueRover's SafeFood in our facilities, we administered our temperature measurements manually,” says Kevin Stemmler of Stemmler Meats in Heidelberg and Waterloo. “Now, we have completely automated the process, from temperature measurements to reports, allowing us to look great to inspectors and our present and future customers.”

Arbuckle says with IOT technology, there are plenty of real-world applications that can incorporate sensor technology to increase intelligence. The company offers engineering expertise that can accommodate requests for plug-and-play and custom business solutions.

This article is provided by AgInnovation Ontario, a project of the Agri-Technology Commercialization Centre (ATCC).

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