How Well Can Robots Take Care of Animals?

A Chinese poultry producer uses 18 robot “nannies” to monitor the health of 3 million chickens and stop egg contamination.
A Chinese poultry producer uses 18 robot “nannies” to monitor the health of 3 million chickens and stop egg contamination.

It's pretty impressive that the third-largest poultry producer in China has roughly three million chickens, but what's truly stunning is that the operation is staffed mainly by robots. Charoen Pokphand Group's so-called robot "nannies" roam the chicken coops on wheels for 12 hours a day to keep track of the birds' movements and take their temperatures, monitoring the flocks for any indications of avian flu or food-borne illnesses.

According to Xie Yi, a senior vice chairman of the company's agribusiness unit, the goal is to ensure quality products all the way along the process. "Problems sometimes involve human error, so full automation enhances the safety level," he said in a statement. China is second in the world to the United States in poultry production, and is the world's top producer of eggs. The Chinese poultry industry brings in about $100 billion USD annually.

Chicken check:

  • Researchers have found an evolutionary link between today's chickens and the prehistoric Tyrannosaurus rex.

  • Although a hen can breed with several roosters, she also can eject a rooster's sperm if she thinks the offspring will be weak.

  • It's possible to hyponotize a chicken for up to 30 seconds with a variety of methods.

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    • A Chinese poultry producer uses 18 robot “nannies” to monitor the health of 3 million chickens and stop egg contamination.
      A Chinese poultry producer uses 18 robot “nannies” to monitor the health of 3 million chickens and stop egg contamination.