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Product Code: 00007386

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As the nation is emphasizing on the development of the economy with agriculture as an attendant alternative to the existing oil driven economy, it has become imperative to mechanize agriculture. This work is centered on livestock. Research has shown that livestock in the farm are mostly affected by diseases and that the proximity between animals and humans has made the latter more vulnerable to infectious diseases of animals. These various diseases are so tormenting that they kill livestock quickly and in large number, thereby increasing the cost of livestock farming. Even with the proliferation of modern sensing devices, design concepts and scientific propositions that are in abundance. However, building a functional as well as cost effective miniature device that is capable of remotely detecting cattle’s health status and location in real-time has been quite challenging. In view of this, this work proposes an Internet of Things cum Near Field Communication (NFC) system for monitoring and tracking the health status as well as the location of any cattle by using sensors, and Global Positioning System (GPS) module respectively. The system implementation was carried out using the software program to drive the hardware system. The design is an embedded application which forms unit integration with various sensors such as temperature sensor, pulse rate sensor, humidity sensor, and GPS location sensor interfaced to the NodeMCU microcontroller with embedded ESP8266 Wi-Fi chip. This Wi-Fi chip serves as an Internet of Things (IoT) gateway for sending data to a remote server. Farmers get cows’ health status report in real time either online or on their mobile phones in form of Short Messaging Service (SMS), so that an intelligent monitoring is achieved by just a click on the hyperlinked SMS to triangulate the position of cattle on the Google map. The test carried out on the system developed shows that the prototype is flexible, reliable and capable of monitoring cattle remotely. The system can also be deployed in a farm settlement with any kind of cattle production system in use because of its compact design, affordability, and complementary support for areas of poor network infrastructure. The system developed will improve modern ranching and which will help the national polity as the issue of Fulani herdsmen will be curbed.



Title Page i

Declaration ii

Certification iii

Dedication iv

Acknowledgements v

Table of Contents vi

List of Tables ix

List of Figures x

List of Abbreviations xi

Abstract xiv


1.1 Background of Study 1

1.2 Statement of Research Problem 4

1.3 Aim and Objectives of Study 5

1.4 Scope of Study 6

1.5 Research Justification 6


2.1 Internet of Things (IoT) 8

2.1.1 Definition 8

2.1.2 Nomenclature for internet of things 10

2.2 Internet of things enabling technologies        10

2.2.1   Near field communication (NFC) 11

2.2.2 Operation and communication modes 12

2.2.3 Standards 14

2.2.4 Radio frequency identification (RFID) 16

2.2.5 Comparison of radio frequency identification with near field 

communication 18

2.2.6 Bluetooth 19

2.2.7 ZigBee 21

2.3 Review of Related Works 22

2.4 Research Gap 29


3.1 Materials 32

3.1.1 Hardware development tools 32

3.1.2 Software development tools 47

3.2 Methods 48

3.3 System Description 50

3.3.1 Hardware description 51

3.3.2 Software description 52

3.3.3 System algorithm 53

3.3.4 System flowchart 53

3.4 Database Design 58

3.5 System Block Diagram 59

3.6 System Architecture 60


4.1 System Testing and Evaluation 62

4.1.1 System testing 62

4.1.2 Unit testing 62

4.1.3 Integration testing 62

4.1.4 Security and vulnerability testing 63

4.1.5 Compatibility testing 63

4.2 Test Result and Discussion 63

4.2.1 Web application 64

4.2.2 Google map 68

4.2.3 Short messaging service (SMS) 69

4.2.4 Hardware implementation result 70


5.1 Conclusion 73

5.1.1 Contribution to Knowledge 74

5.2 Recommendations 74

References 75



2.1       Comparison of WPAN technologies                                                              19

3.1       Technologies and NFC tag types                                                                    34

3.2       Switch (S1 and S2) Control                                                                            37

3.3       PN532 Pinout Configuration                                                                          38

3.4       Pulse Sensor Pinout Configuration                                                                 46

3.5       Database Schema for Administrator                                                               58

3.6       Database Schema for Students Record                                                          58






2.1       Block diagram of cattle’s health and environment monitoring system          24

3.1       Typical snapshot of NFC tag in form of cards and key fob                           34

3.2       Typical reader/writer mode Operation                                                            36

3.3       Typical PN532 NFC Breakout board                                                                        37

3.4       Typical NodeMCU Development Board                                                        40

3.5       Typical Temperature and Humidity DHT11 Sensor                                       44

3.6       Typical Pulse Sensor (SEN-11574)                                                                 45

3.7       Typical Neo-6M GPS module with a ceramic patch antenna                         46

3.8       Circuit Diagram of the Livestock Monitoring System                                   52

3.9       Algorithm for a remote livestock monitoring system                                     53

3.10     Flowchart for the GPS coding                                                                                    54

3.11     Flowchart for the NFC coding                                                                       55

3.12     Flowchart for Pulsesensor coding                                                                   56

3.13     Flowchart for Humidity and Temperature coding                                          57

3.14     System Block Diagram                                                                                   59

3.15     System Architecture                                                                                       61

4.1       System Login Page                                                                                         65

4.2       System Home Page                                                                                         66

4.3       Home Page showing cattle status                                                                   67

4.4       System Help Page                                                                                           67

4.5       Screenshot of the location on website through Google Map                          68

4.6a     View of the location                                                                                       69

4.6b     SMS with a Google map link                                                                          70

4.7       Packaged Hardware System in Unpowered State                                          71

4.8       Packaged Hardware System (Powered On)                                                   71

4.9       Serial Monitor Output                                                                                     72








API                                                     Application Programming Interface

ADC                                                   Analog-to-Digital Conversion

AES                                                    Advance Encryption Standard

BPM                                                    Beats Per Minute

CORBA                                              Common Object Request Broker Architecture

CoAP                                                  Constrained Application Protocol

DOM                                                   Document Object Model

DES                                                    Data Encryption Standard

EPC                                                     Electronic Product Code

GPS                                                     Global Positioning System

GPIO                                                  General-Purpose Input/Output

HF                                                       High Frequency

HTML                                                 Hypertext Mark-up Language

IDE                                                     Integrated Development Environments

IEEE                                                   Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

IT                                                        Information Technology

IP                                                        Internet Protocol

IPV4                                                   Internet Protocol Version4

IPV6                                                   Internet Protocol Version6

IoT                                                      Internet of Things

IC                                                        Integrated Chip

ID                                                        Identity

I2C                                                      Inter-Integrated Circuit

I2S                                                      Inter-Intergrated Circuit Sound

ISO                                                     International Organization for Standardization

IEC                                                     International Electrotechnical Commission

IETF                                                    Internet Engineering Task Force

IR                                                        Infrared

JIS                                                       Japanese Industrial Standard

JSON                                                  JavaScript Object Notation

LDO                                                    Low-Dropout regulator

LED                                                    Light Emitting Diode

LoWPAN                                            Low-Power Wireless Personal Area Network

LF                                                       Low Frequency

LCD                                                    Liquid Crystal Display

MD2                                                    Message-Digest Algorithm

MVC                                                   Model View Controller

NMEA                                                            National Marine Electronics Association

NDEF                                                 NFC Data Exchange Format

NFC                                                    Near Field Communication

PIN                                                     Personal Identification Number

PPHS                                                  Pervasive and Personalized Healthcare System

PHP                                                     Hypertext Pre-processor

PWM                                                   Pulse Width Modulation

PPG                                                     Photophlethysmography

RSA                                                    Rivest Shamir Adleman

RTC                                                    Real-Time Clock

RISC                                                   Reduced Instruction Set Computer

RTOS                                                  Real-Time Operating System

RAM                                                   Random Access Memory

RC                                                       Remote Control

RFID                                                   Radio Frequency Identification

RF                                                       Radio Frequency

SIG                                                     Special Interest Group

SMS                                                    Short Messaging Service

SAFER+                                             Secure and Fast Encryption Routine plus

SHA-1                                                 Secure Hash Algorithm 1

SOAP                                                  Simple Object Access Protocol

SPI                                                      Serial Peripheral Interface

SaaS                                                    Software-as-a-Service

SIM                                                     Subscriber Identity Module

SD                                                       Secure Digital

SoC                                                     System on a Chip

SDIO                                                  Secure Digital Input/output Interface

TCP                                                     Transmission Control Protocol

TTL                                                     Transistor Transistor Logic

UART                                                 Universal Asynchronous Receiver and Transmitter

UID                                                     Unique Identity

UUID                                                  User Unique Identity

URL                                                    Uniform Resource Locator

USB                                                    Universal Serial Bus

UHF                                                    Ultra-High Frequency

VCC                                                    Voltage Common Collector

VIN                                                     Voltage Input

WPAN                                                            Wireless Personal Area Network

WSN                                                   Wireless Sensor Network









There are no recent human activities, processes or facets of life that preclude the use of technology as an asset to transform the laborious and time-consuming task of mankind. Nowadays, modern farming is not unaffected by technology. Recent innovations and researches have enabled man to get rid of the manual efforts that he put into agriculture. Efforts are on top gear to find new ways of improving agriculture to achieve the long-term development goal. Technology has made numerous impacts in the agricultural sector as it is now possible inter alia to cultivate crops in a desert, breed insect or disease-resistant crops, use an automated crop irrigation system, implement precision agricultural tools, deploy a weather forecast system, and develop powerful farm management software. This Information Technology (IT) based agriculture has opened up opportunities, like any other business, for farmers to not only manage farm operations, but to change the way they manage crops and livestock to boost productivity and efficiency.

It is against this backdrop of global challenge of food production that the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) made a prediction of a shoot in the population in the world to 9 billion by 2050, and that 70 percent increase in food production would have to emerge to counter this growth (FAO,2009). This translates that farmers will have to increase food production, with less resources such as water and land.

Consequently, modern and innovative technologies are being considered in various agricultural sectors to meet the goal. This stride needs to be accelerated by integrating Internet of Things (IoT) while making the agriculture smart and simple in nature (Ray, 2017).


Little wonder, some of the notable entrepreneurs and industrialists in the developed countries are now focused on bringing the latest computing technologies-data analytics, cloud computing, mobile applications, radio technologies- to farms. In United States for instance, start-ups like Granular offers analytics software to help farmers track costs, production yields, and profits against established benchmarks. Cloud computing, on the flipside, also offers customized Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions to help farmers better manage their crops and their businesses.


Mobile applications offer farmers the opportunity of gathering, and updating real-time data using their smartphones. Radio and wireless technologies are no exceptional devices in the hands of farmers for tracking and monitoring the location of farm animals, produce, and for detecting counterfeit produce in the market (Pourghomi and Ghinea, 2012).


In spite of the proliferation of these emerging technologies and their numerous benefits, farmers are yet to leverage on them. Hence, this work proposes an Internet of Things (IoT) Based Livestock (particularly cattle) Farm Remote Monitoring System with the use of the Near Field Communication (NFC) technology for Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike’s (MOUAU) farm settlement, as a test bed.


The Internet of Things (IoT) has been described by Keertana and Vanathi (2017) as the network of physical objects-devices, vehicles, buildings and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity-that enables these objects to collect and exchange data. It also provides a remote monitoring capability for objects across existing network infrastructure, thereby enabling close interaction between the computer-based systems and the real world.


The Near Field Communication (NFC), however, refers to a subset of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), wireless communication technology that operates at a frequency of 13.56 MHz, has a low bandwidth and supports a threshold data transfer rate of 424 Kbit/s.


According to Lopez-de-Ipinia (2007), the Near Field Communication technology is described as one of the enablers for ubiquitous computing that requires bringing two NFC compatible devices close (about 10 centimeters) together. In his work, he referred to it as, “a combination of contactless identification and interconnection technologies”. Thus, this technology makes it possible for users to interact with any smart object (either an NFC tag, NFC reader, or another NFC mobile) using their NFC enabled mobile phone.

The communication of near field devices is based on inductive coupling between transmitting and receiving devices. The NFC technology also allows people to integrate their daily-use credit cards, and loyalty cards into their handsets.  Thus, the data or mobile services received by NFC mobile during communication with other smart object or another NFC mobile in proximity can be used to access other online applications or web pages. NFC technology simplifies transactions and opens up innovation opportunities to mobile communications. Little wonder they are often used for bus ticketing, mobile payment system, asset tracking, access control, counterfeit detection and many more to mention but a few (Coskun  et al., 2012).

Another attractive feature of NFC technology is the ease of communication and the protection of personal property and/or information during or after communication. The short distant-communication between NFC enabled devices makes it difficult to usurp data or information. Other features such as internet access capability, unique user identification, secured information sharing capability, increasing computing power of mobile phones, convenience and budget control are few of the numerous advantages NFC technology offers; making it a choice for use in the implementation of this work.



Several ingenious sensing devices and concepts have been demonstrated and proposed in recent past years but very little have been done as regards building a cost effective miniature device that is capable of detecting and transmitting cattle’s physiological status as well as location data to the cloud for remote monitoring in real time. It has also been observed that livestock in the farm are mostly affected by diseases (Khushbu et al., 2019).

Torments from different killer diseases and high cost of breeding has created the need for farmers to adapt to efficient and practical methods to improve productivity and minimize cost. Moreover, in a livestock farm settlement with poor network infrastructure, the absence of a novel technology like the Internet of things (IoT) which in itself contains wireless communication technologies for connecting objects to the internet leaves the accountability, profitability, productivity and efficiency of the farm deficient.

It is worthy to note that even in other existing work on IoT enabled remote livestock monitoring system, a notification system in the form of Short Messaging Service (SMS) containing longitude and latitude for cattle location is usually sent to farmers’ mobile phones to alert them of any emergency but unfortunately the SMS does not include a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) or hyperlink for livestock to be instantly traced on the Google map. This additional feature is needed for this extended and robust remote cattle monitoring system.

In view of the above mentioned problems, this work seeks to address the challenges of instant tracing of livestock on the Google map using the URL




The aim of this study is to design and implement an intelligent remote livestock monitoring system applying Near Field Communication (NFC). The objectives of this research include:

1.      To develop an algorithm that remotely monitors livestock based on Near Field Communication

2.      To develop a code using C++ programming language from the algorithm previously developed.

3.      To integrate the developed code into the NodeMCU microcontroller development board

4.      To interface the NodeMCU with PN532 Near Field Communication (NFC) reader and the Global Positioning System (GPS) using Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) protocol.

5.      To set up a prototype as a proof of concept


1.4       SCOPE OF STUDY

The scope of the study covers the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) cum Near Field Communication based livestock monitoring system in Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike’s farm settlement with emphasis on cattle’s health and location tracking system. The system monitors both the cattle’s health parameters such as body temperature, heartbeat, and their environmental parameters such as temperature and humidity. It also tracks cattle’s current location in a pasture, should they wander far away, using Global Positioning System (GPS) device. The system is limited only to data collection through sensors and storage of the data to a remote server; it does not compute or analyse the data but provides a web application where farmers can remotely view the collected data.

The system deploys the use of a NodeMCU microcontroller with embedded ESP8266 Wi-Fi module and pin headers which provides network connection and interface for various actuators and sensors.

This work does not include the use of cameras for monitoring cattle’s movement patterns in a pasture as a way to better understand and/or predict cattle’s behaviour from their movement analysis.

A Short Messaging Service (SMS) gateway is included in the system to alert farm managers and cattle handlers of an impending danger or abnormal changes in health of the cattle so as to expedite necessary actions.



This research addresses the challenges faced by cattle herders particularly in Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike’s farm settlement and other rural farmers in the suburb of south eastern part of Nigeria who are hitherto practising the traditional methods of livestock farming in spite of the proliferation of modern computing technologies. However, this research would change the narrative; it provides a window of opportunity for exploring the advantages of intelligent remote monitoring capabilities of Internet of Things cum Near Field Communication (NFC) technology for cattle.

This research work bridges the gap between cattle herders, owners, farm managers and the veterinary doctors that are assigned to the cattle. It also finds relevance and superiority, over and among the other existing wireless communication technologies applied in this regard as an internet of things enabler, in the ease of use of the novel technology, NFC, to livestock farmers and for the secure transmission of data in a network.

The application of the NFC technology for livestock intelligent remote monitoring, therefore, justifies this work irrespective of the cattle production system in use for any farm settlement.

Lastly, this work provides an automated record or piece of information regarding each cow’s health status and location at anytime, anywhere and any place. Thus, improving the level of cattle security and reducing the severity of the disease infestation on cattle.



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