Poultry Patrol (think Roomba for chicken coops) great for farmers with broadband

I love this story because I remembered when he presented his invention at the Red Wing Ignite Cup. He wasn’t the winner, but it sounds like the event got him launched. (And a good lesson that winning isn’t everything!)  Northfield News reports…

Minnesota turkey farmers may be getting a different kind of farmhand if Jack Kilian gets his way. The recent College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota graduate has designed Poultry Patrol, an autonomous robot designed to save farmers time and muscle inside their poultry barns.

In addition to completing tasks such as turning bedding, detecting disease, and reading temperature sensors, the four-wheeled robot can measure humidity and temperature—and take video inside the barn so farmers can monitor the turkeys remotely.

Kilian, a recipient of multiple CSE scholarships, including the Lawrence and Marian Robert Scholarship and the Elmer and Betty Schwittek Scholarship, won $12,500 in January to fund the project from the Ag Tech Challenge sponsored by the innovation center Red Wing Ignite.

The other thing I love about this project, it’s another reason to push broadband out to rural areas…

After Poultry Patrol, Kilian hopes to keep working in the agriculture tech industry. He said he’s already working with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to get broadband installed in more rural areas so that farmers can use internet in their turkey barns. And after that, the opportunities for more technological advancements will present themselves.

“There’s an endless number of things I could be working on just in agricultural robotics, so that’s going to be my focus for now,” he said. “I think there are a lot of opportunities still left unexplored.”

Broadband – not just for people anymore.

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