April 17, 2017

We are working zealously on our C-Bot. This month we have ordered a circuit board for our robot and hosted a Mid-year Tech Review. We are working on two robots at once, a C Bot and a backup. We are figuring out how to code them both, but without a circuit board, it is hard to code them.

A few parents, the school board and other people from the community came to our Mid-year Tech Review. Everyone was excited about our project and were quite interested in our process and the final product. We explained to the public more about our goals and purpose and they had much to say about our project. They were quite supportive and had a few propositions and questions.

One questioned how we were going to get the robot over the migrating fences in the  broiler houses. A migrating fences work like a barrier to hold chickens in one area of the broiler house. If they hear a noise or any other disturbances, they will all run to the other side of the house, gathering up and smothering each other. Some suggested making our own migrating fences with a spring-loaded gate so that the C-Bot can go from area-to-area declustering the birds while still having migrating fences up.

Another asked if our C-Bot will pair with the Broiler house’s system. A broiler house has a system that detects things in the house such as ammonia, carbon dioxide, and temperature levels. These sensors are eye level with humans and not down with the birds. The C-Bot is going to be level with the birds and can more accurately determine the ammonia, carbon dioxide, and temperature levels and prolonging the bird's’ life by notifying the farmer if levels are too high or too low.

Someone asked about our thermal sensors on the robot. They question if the feeding systems and the heating systems for in the winter will make the thermal sensors sound off. The heating systems in broiler houses work much like a heater to make sure that the birds do not freeze.  True, these systems do heat up, but they are much hotter than a chicken, therefore, we can code the C Bot to only detect heat to a certain degree.

We are still hard at work on the C Bot and things are coming along quite smoothly. This is a good experience to learn to work under pressure and I think we are doing well. We are still figuring a few things out and are fixing a few kinks, but are working through them one at a time. And no, the C-Bot is not going to look like a chicken.