SwineTech is using artificial intelligence to save piglets

Photo courtesy of SwineTech.

Every year millions of piglet die from being accidentally crushed by their mothers. A Cedar Rapids based agtech startup is looking to change that.

SwineTech is using sensor-based technologies to prevent piglet deaths. SwineTech’s award-winning product, SmartGuard, uses AI to read data through sensors and can locate exactly where a piglet is getting crushed and will alert the sow to roll over or stand up through the use of a vibratory signal.

Data collected from SwineTech’s SmartGuard device provides key information and metrics of the sow’s behavior, health, and environment that she lives in. This information allows producers to know more than ever before and predict life-changing events and behaviors, such as the detection of respiratory illness and the time of birthing.

SwineTech launched their product about ten months ago and have protected over 10,000 liters since then.

Early last year, SwineTech raised $1.3 million in funding from a range of investors, farmers and accelerators including Quake Capital from New York, the Iowa Startup Accelerator — which SwineTech took part in three years ago — and the AgVentures Alliance.

“We’re not scaling right now, but we are releasing to the influencers in the industry doing everything we can do to get supporting evidence that our product works for you, no matter what your genetics, farm size or company are.”

SwineTech’s technology is currently displayed in the National Inventors Hall of Fame where they won the Arrow Innovation Prize at the 2017 Collegiate Inventors Competition.

Coming March of next year, SwineTech is releasing a second version of Smart Guard.

“It’s streamlining the entire process for employees on the farm, making things more efficient for us,” Matthew Rooda, founder and CEO of SwineTech said. “We’re going to be able to collect information for the producers, enabling them to do things that they never thought they could do before.”

SwineTech will be doing a demonstration of the 2.0 version of their product in January at the Iowa Pork Congress.

“Two to three years down the road, we want to be the complete eyes and ears of the farrowing barn,” Rooda said. “Anything that has to do with health, behavior or the mortality of pigs on the farm is something we’re going to be a very big part of.”