– To leverage the functionality of the existing animal management system using electronic cage cards
The consistency between the information in the database and the information on the cage is guaranteed by cage cards generated directly from the database without prior intermediate manual notations. Permanent comparison at a glance between the cage card content and the physical cage content secures the data quality saved in the database. This includes that the data are recorded at the place of their origin . The rapid identification of the cages in the animal management system and the simple input of data play a key role. CageTalkers® optimally support these functions thanks to the fixed Barcode on the outside of the label or the integrated NFC chip as well as the eInk-Display and the red or green flash leds. Long range communication by Infra red light makes sure that the animals are not stressed by radio communication and provide signals which are confined to the room only.
CageTalkers® permanently show their contents independently from the computer network or electrical power. Only when the pages are updated electrical power and the computer network is needed.
Once attached to the cage and linked to the cage number of the animal management system, the CageTalkers® are automatically updated whenever a change of data in the animal management system happens.
Scheduled audits, which can be configured as jobs in the CageTalkers® – Server, send so-called broadcasts to all registered CageTalkers®. The CageTalkers® respond with their identification number and their room number (Sub Cell). If no response is received by the CageTalkers – Server, the CageTalkers® go into a “Roaming” state. Through daily audits, the cage days can be generated on a regular base. They then can be used by the animal management system for billing purposes.
Ad Hoc Audits
The available capacity of cage space in a room can be determined via ad hoc audits. Here, the cages in use are subtracted from the maximum cage capacity per room.
Automatic location updates
Audits also determine the physical location of the cages. This can be the room, or by using multiple transceivers in a room, the rack. Rack locations can be achieved by triangulation. The location information can be automatically forwarded to the animal management system and processed there. Otherwise, the labels may flash to indicate, that a manual correction is necessary.
Signalling tasks and discrepancies
Discrepancies or tasks can always be signaled via the LED Flash. Here are some examples:
- Cages with tasks to be completed can be displayed in the rack
- Identification of cages where the booked cage location, and actual physical cage location differs
- Cages containing animals suffering stress. Here the cages to be remedied can be quickly signaled
- Cages that need to be changed can be displayed.
Basically, the direct display of information and alerts through the CageTalkers® at the cage level, wherever they might be, saves walking ways and time. Complete work processes can be carried out without constant reorientation in paperfiles or in the animal management software.
CageTalker updates are transmitted as images. In other words, a genuine image archive independent of the database is created. This corresponds to the storage of paper cage cards in files, which, however, it is performed automatically. In this way, the chronic of the development of a cage, can be traced like in a photo album. Especially for animal welfare officers and the authorities, this type of cage control has clear advantages over complex database queries.
Cage Card database
The web service stores the animal management system data along with the generated cage card images in a cards database. This means, the data of the cage cards can be tested against the statistics of the animal management system. This leads to a higher data quality of all involved systems and the possibility to find possible errors faster compared to systems without Cagetalkers®.
Dynamic redirection to other information sources
With the help of dynamically generated QR codes, it is possible to refer to other data sources using smart devices such as tablets or smart phones. These sources e.g. can be accessed via the web or internally. Also data which may not be direct content of the animal management system can be addressed in this way. Examples include: Animal testing applications, standard operation procedures (SOPS), protocols, treatment procedures, help texts, etc.
Display from multiple data sources
The webservice technology allows to show data from multiple data sources to be displayed on a CageTalkers ® page. There are 3 pages available on a CageTalker. Several systems can consume the web services at the same time. The CageTalkerID combined with a date-time stamp may even be used as the connecting element for multiple external systems.
Non contact reading IDs
NFC offers non-contact reading capabilities of the CageTalkers® without visual contact of the reading device – if necessary through worktops or tent walls. This possibility offers new applications in automation, e.g. on changing stations or insulators with RFID readers or smart devices.
Tecniplast DVC technology
The RFID used in the CageTalkers® are compatible with the Tecniplast DVC technology. This results in new possibilities for automation.
CageTalkers® can be updated from any location in the world. All, that needs to be done is to be able to address the fixed IPs of the Base Stations where the transceivers are connected. The servers which serve this so called infrastructure can be located on-premise or in the cloud (as with the Galilei Cloud web services). This results in new aspects for streamlining processes in animal facilities.
An important advantage over all mechanical printing processes is the central maintainability of the entire infrastructure consisting of base stations, transceivers and CageTalkers® through a remote or on-premise IT service. This means a big advantage compared to the bring in services e.g. for printers in current environments. Centrally running jobs can not only detect the location of cages but also the battery status of the CageTalkers® which normally last up to 7 years but also the availability of base stations and transceivers.
Holding on every type of cage
Injection moulded holders support all cage types and if the holder is not available yet 3D-Printed holders are made available for tests. This includes micro suction holders for aquariums as well as holders with lids with different colours or holders with paper clips for the notes of researchers or the thumbs ups, which allow to signal abnormalities in a manual way.
Predefined data structures for stock cards, breeding cards and experimental cards allow a quick and easy integration in into any animal management system. Even Pdf-Cage Cards can be analysed and forwarded to CageTalkers®. In this case only a sync-folder like a DropBox or a WebDav-Folder is necessary.