Pain Sensing in Animals

  • I. Al-BahadlyEmail author
  • P. Murphy
  • K. Alkhumaisi
Part of the Smart Sensors, Measurement and Instrumentation book series (SSMI, volume 11)


This chapter presents a new pain sensing system in animals based on the use of stepping motor for applying force and flexi-force sensor for measuring the applied force. The purpose of the system is to apply a force to the sheep’s leg via a probe. The force should slowly be increased by moving the probe into the leg of the sheep. When the animal reacts to the pain the user should be able to retract the probe and record the force which was applied and time the force was applied for. The system was intended to replace an old device which used pneumatics to apply a pressure to the animal. This device had several problems including leaks, inaccuracies, and safety issues. The system is intended for research into pain sensitivity in sheep. The research aims to measure the mechanical nociceptive threshold (MNT) in sheep. The MNT is defined as the minimum pressure that induces a pain response. This system could be used to investigate the effectiveness of pain control drugs for sheep. It could also be developed for research on other animals. For similar sized animals no modifications would be necessary. This chapter covers a background into the need for the system and other aspects involved with the development of this system. It contains a description of all technical aspects of the system and how the design was reached. It covers calibration and testing of the system and results and conclusions developed from these.


Pain sensing flexi-force stepping motor force measurement 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Engineering and Advanced TechnologyMassey UniversityPalmerston NorthNew Zealand

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