Missouri Patent of the Month – April 2022

In order to meet growing populations and food demand, poultry farming has been transformed from a family farm to a full-scale industrial production. As this industry has moved from free-range, roaming chickens to chicken growing barns, workers typically spend 4-6 hours each day within the barn tracking temperatures, adjusting barn ventilations, and monitoring the bird’s growth and environment. A typical poultry barn has on average 25,000 chickens which creates a severe working environment for those who spend a long time in the barn. With this many birds, the air quality can be harmful with great volumes of dust and ammonia.

Energy Americas, LLC has designed a poultry growing robot meant to reduce the time a human spends in the barn. Their poultry growing robot can automate a number of tasks required to reliably raise the chickens. The robot uses a chassis and conveyor to move around the barn. The robot can be remotely controlled and uses a tapered edge to scoop up objects from the floor. This includes cleaning up manure and, in the unfortunate instance, any deceased chickens. This builds up on the collection platform before the robot switches into a disposal position where it is then deposited into a waste removal system. 

Energy Americas has been working to improve the poultry industry through automation and efficiency improvements. Their other systems have included waste heat recovery systems which have reclaimed heat from dirty ammonia filled air. Now with the robotic system, poultry growing barns are even safer for workers.  

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