How robots could help optimize broiler production

Robotic technology that uses artificial intelligence to help farmers make data-driven decisions about broiler production could result in a healthier, more productive growing environment.

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(Iamus Technologies)
(Iamus Technologies)

Robotic technology that uses artificial intelligence to help farmers make data-driven decisions about broiler production could result in a healthier, more productive growing environment.

“We’re invested in creating better outcomes when it comes to animal welfare and sustainability. We do that using a marriage of different systems. Similar to what we’ve seen in other spaces, we use robotics to encourage the birds to be more active to increase muscle mass, which ultimately drives better improvements when it comes to the feed conversion ratio,” explained Shane Kiernan, CEO, Iamus Technogies.

“The other benefit of healthier birds is that you see a reduction in mortality and improvements when it comes to uniformity. That has a very tangible benefit to processors and producers in terms of the yield that they’ll recover from any single flock. It’s a tough environment inside of the chicken shed, so if you’re helping the farmer create improvements in welfare or sustainability, that ultimately affects their bottom line.”

Data-driven decisions

The robots typically take three trips throughout a poultry barn per day. In addition to interacting with the birds, sensors on the robots’ measure changes in temperature, humidity and other environmental factors.

“We use static sensors to support our robots. We measure the environment pretty much in every corner and part of the barn which allows us to capture in real-time how situations may change on a micro basis,” Kieran said.

“We’re taking – at bird levels – health information with a reading as it relates to the environment of that location that allows us to be very deterministic when you have any sort of change that’s outside of the expected curve.”

The company, which initially received support from the family behind Manor Farm poultry company in Ireland, was recently accepted into the Techstars Farm-to-Fork Accelerator program co-sponsored by Ecolab and Cargill.

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