Startup Coop Introduces AI Guardian Albert Eggstein to Safeguard Backyard Chickens
In a bid to address supply chain disruptions and the increasing demand for backyard chickens, startup Coop has unveiled a smart home system designed specifically for chicken coops. Founded in 2021 by AJ Forsyth and Jordan Barnes, Coop aims to make raising chickens easier and more accessible to beginners and the chicken-curious.
The first-generation Coop comes equipped with a chicken house, a wire fence, remote-controlled lights, and a set of cameras. Designed with meticulous attention to detail, the Coop’s hardware and overall design are infused with a deep understanding of chicken behavior and needs. The system includes a compostable, custom-fit poop tray to simplify cleaning, and the wire cage has been redesigned to prevent predators, such as raccoons, from gaining access.
One of the key features of the Coop is its AI software named Albert Eggstein. This intelligent software is capable of detecting chickens and potential predators in the vicinity, providing valuable insights and alerts through a dedicated app. With 98-percent accuracy, the software can categorize nearby predators, including muskrats, hawks, and dogs, allowing owners to take necessary precautions to protect their chickens.
The Coop system relies on two cameras—one placed outside in the run and another inside the roost. The cameras, combined with intelligent computer vision and machine learning algorithms, enable the system to automatically raise the door to the roost in the morning and ensure that all chickens have safely returned home at night. The software can even analyze the pitch and pattern of chicken sounds, providing insights into their moods and behaviors.
The app associated with the Coop system condenses the activity into weekly summary sheets, alerting owners to any frequent visits from predators or social events, such as when the eggs are ready to be collected. The Coop team plans to expand the system’s capabilities in the future, including introducing remote health monitoring. This feature could potentially allow owners to monitor their chickens’ well-being and connect with veterinarians via telehealth services.
Coop has recently commenced full-scale production of their first-generation Coops, which are manufactured using a specialized process called rotomolding in Ohio. The company currently offers an early-bird pricing of $1,995 for the Coop system, with a monthly subscription fee of $19.95 for app features like the AI tools. Additionally, Coop provides services like chicken-sitting, aptly named chicken Tenders.
With Coop’s innovative approach and the integration of AI technology, backyard chicken raising becomes more accessible and less daunting for both beginners and experienced owners. The system’s ability to detect predators and monitor chicken well-being adds an extra layer of security and convenience, addressing the challenges and concerns that come with raising backyard chickens.