Water Rat

  • 2022

  • Product
    Commercial and Industrial

Designed By:

Commissioned By:


Designed In:


Secure water supply is critical for the welfare and productivity of animals on farms. By monitoring and reporting faults in real time we can make sure animals always have safe access to water.

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Image: a2 media
Image: Ariel Cameron Photography
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  • The challenge is to detect and alert when the water level drops in a water trough used on farms to provide animals with drinking water. The target environment is extremely harsh on electronics with extreme weather combined with curious and sometimes destructive animals. The soloution must be easy to install, survive on a single battery for over a year and communicate from remote rural locations.

  • The Water Rat floats in the water trough until the level drops and it tilts over. As a floating device it provides no resistance to any destrutcive forces applied and it can easily be picked up an moved to a new location when required. An accelerometer detects the tilt angle and sends an alert via narrowband signal to a mobile phone or PC. The internal GPS updates its position on the farm's digital map. Additionaly the design allows for the tethering in a tank, with a rope setting the depth at which the tilt and alert will be triggered.

  • Social Impact: Farming families know that a weekend away is not really a break when all you do is worry about the water in your tanks and troughs. Knowing that you will be alerted if there is a problem allows everyone to be relaxed and present until its time to get back to work. Commercial Impact: Efficient water monitoring saves time and money and avoids productivity losses associated with water shortages. Environmental Impact: The Water Rat fits into sustainable grazing programs and moves with mobs as they are rotated through paddocks.

  • Each Water Rat is supplied with a short piece of sailing rope and instructions on how to tie a "poachers knot" so that if required, it can be in stalled in a water tank and tethered to the top with the rope length setting the level at which the Water Rat will tilt over and send the low water alert.