TIBOT Technologies: Improving working conditions for poultry farmers while increasing profitability and bird welfare
In a climate of shifting demedication regulations and increasingly higher quality standards, floor-eggs are now considered contaminated and downgraded as a result. To limit floor-eggs, poultry farmers walk through the flock two to three times per hour to get hens moving and encourage them to lay in the nests, which is a repetitive, tedious and sometimes stressful task for the farmer.
The company originated with a couple of poultry farmers, Laetitia and Benoit Savary, who were concerned with finding a solution to floor-eggs on poultry breeder farms around the Rennes region in France. In 2016, they turned to the Cimtech engineering office to develop a technical solution. In the meantime, Yanne Courcoux, CEO, joined the couple to develop the young startup.
SPOUTNIC the robot was thus born! As a completely independent assistant, the robot helps the farmer stimulate the animals by circulating throughout the flock to get hens moving and encourage them to lay in the nests. This provides greater comfort for the farmer while increasing profitability and
As a tireless assistant, SPOUTNIC patrols the poultry house seven days a week to encourage birds to lay in the nests. It reduces the number of floor-eggs.
For breeders, more active birds lead to higher hatching rates. Clean eggs in the nests means healthier chicks.
Plug and play, SPOUTNIC requires no technical installation. SPOUTNIC moves randomly and independently throughout the poultry house. Thanks to a customisation controller, farmers can adjust the stimuli to create movement while minimising stress, which means birds will eat and drink better.
SPOUTNIC continually walks the floor according to configurable schedules. It saves farmers time and reduces tedious daily tasks.
A prototype of the robot was presented in 2016 at SPACE, the international livestock exhibition, where it won the 3-star Innov'SPACE award. The robot was first marketed during the 2017 edition. With SPOUTNIC, TIBOT Technologies gained a foothold in international markets.
"A Plug and Play robot gives us the opportunity to sell directly. Today, 70% of our turnover is export-derived through trade with fifteen countries in Europe, North America and Japan," says CEO YanneCourcoux.
TIBOT Technologies today consists of a team of eight employees, with four of them dedicated to R&D. The poultry robotics specialist will recruit for the company's sales and marketing development.
TIBOT Technologies announced in October 2019 a fundraising of three million euros from Demeter and Seventure Partners and its historical investors Breizh Up and Crédit Agricole Ille et Vilaine Expansion who had already invested 900,000 euros in April 2018. The round table had been completed by its banking partners Crédit Agricole Regional Bank of Ille-et-Vilaine, BNP Paribas and Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne.
"The new funds will be used to accelerate the development of our marketing strategies and to support operations to create greater value for existing customers. We plan to take our solution to the next level, offering more, increasingly innovative features based on a close-to-the-field approach," highlights Courcoux.
At the start of 2019, the company also participated in Synapse, Boeringher Ingeheim's e-health accelerator programme. The company plans to push forward with R&D efforts to stay technologically ahead.
At the most recent edition of SPACE in September 2019, TIBOT Technologies presented a second line of robots, the SPOUTNIC NAV. Dedicated to broilers, this latest robot solution spent 24 months in the development stage and is designed to fulfill two primary functions.
Firstly, SPOUTNIC NAV stimulates the activity of the birds which are naturally given to inertia in livestock settings. Sedentary behaviour impacts their health. The robot stimulates the natural activity of chicks and boosts their weight gain. With SPOUTNIC NAV, chickens move and scratch more, and above all drink and eat better.
Secondly, equipped with a scraper adapted to floor conditions, the robot scrapes and aerates the litter to reduce the compacting and humidity that trigger the fermentation process. Thanks to this action, the robot reduces certain pathologies such as foot pad dermatitis, hock burns and breast blisters.
SPOUTNIC NAV is equipped with an indoor navigation system enabling it to navigate with precision according to a self-generated or user-defined trajectory. As the round-the-clock assistant for farmers, SPOUTNIC NAV patrols all day long between drinker nipples and feed delivery systems.
TIBOT Technologies customers include many cooperatives and farm industry players such as Le Helloco, Agrial, LDC and Prodavi. In a feedback-based approach to continual improvement, the company continues to work with its customers to develop solutions.
"We've put two robots on the market in 36 months. That's quite a success for a company of our size! We now have a range of solutions for every type of production, from breeders to broilers," concludes Courcoux.
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