Poultry International - January 2018 - 32
32 ❙ PoultryInternational
Robotics in poultry production
to transform sector
Robotics in poultry production can be expected to make the
sector more efficient, but producers should help to shape how the
technology is employed.
The market for robotics in agriculture is forecast to reach US$11 million by 2023, according
to Research and Markets. While, for many, robots
may seem the stuff of science fiction, they are already appearing in chicken and egg production.
Discussions at trade show SPACE suggested
that robotics would not only transform the efficiency of livestock production but, rather than
being a technology to be feared, their use could
make agriculture more attractive, transform the
role of livestock producers completely, and
take on activities that are repetitive or dull.
It may not simply be the lives of producers
that are improved. Where poultry and other livestock are concerned, use of robots could improve
welfare, through reducing contact with human
The evolution of the agricultural robotics industry is expected to gain pace. Poultry and egg
producers must keep abreast of change and adopt
new technologies and, as the sector continues
to mature, producers will need to guide what
exactly the robots of the future will be, and how
they will fit into the production methods society
ready ever more disconnected from livestock production and use of robots may hasten this trend.
To counter this, producers will need to become
better communicators, not only to allay concerns
expressed by the public but also to ensure that robots exactly carry out the tasks required of them.
Among robots already being commercialized
for poultry production at SPACE were:
✔ Octopus Scarifier
The Octopus Scarifier is said to the first robot
of its kind in the world, designed to aerate litter
and monitor facilities.
Friend or enemy?
The Octopus Scarifier improves litter quality,
monitors house conditions and can apply
biocides in aerosol form to reduce bacterial
load. Mark Clements
While there may be numerous positives to employing robots on the farm, there is also the risk
of various negatives. For example, society is al-
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