China Using ‘Nanny Robots’ to Keep Chickens Healthy

Published by , January 16, 2017 3:44 am

(Bloomberg)  Poultry powerhouse Charoen Pokphand Group is deploying a flock of robots to convince customers its birds are healthy. About 3 million laying hens raised near Beijing by the Bangkok-based conglomerate get daily checkups from machines dubbed “nanny robots.” The sensor-filled humanoids, perched atop a base with wheels, roll through a massive complex of windowless coops for 12 hours a day, monitoring the fowls’ temperatures and movements. Human colleagues pluck feverish or immobile birds from their cages to protect the rest of the brood and keep sick birds and their eggs from reaching kitchen tables.
CP Group, China’s third-largest poultry producer, is using the 18 automatons to curtail outbreaks of bird flu and food-borne illnesses that plague a mainland industry expected to reach $138.2 billion in revenue within five years. “Food safety is a major problem in China,” says Xie Yi, a senior vice chairman of CP Group’s China agribusiness unit.

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