09/09/2014 03:58 EDT | Updated 11/09/2014 05:59 EST

Cattle drone wanted by Thompson Rivers University

It may not wear a Stetson and spurs, but an aerial drone could be the cowboy of the future if a B.C. university study is successful.

Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C., has issued a request for proposal for an unmanned aerial vehicle to track cows on the range.

The vehicle is to locate cattle, identify cows that may be sick and test the level of tolerance the animals have to being spied on by a drone.

The request also stipulates the drone needs to be able to record and supply a live feed, use infrared technology to spot cows through the forest canopy, and be able to fly around 1,200 metres above sea level and at temperatures as low as –20 C.

John Church, professor of environmental science at the university, said there are many potential applications for drones— which are already used successfully in agriculture — including checking on cattle during calving season.

The university expects to pay between $15,000 and $30,000 for the drone.