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Semi-automatic food delivery for aquatic animal facilities – MA00457

Market challenges

The use of zebrafish in life science has recently exploded, and with more than 3250 institutes spread through 100 countries it is now the second most common animal species used in research. In addition, other fish species (medaka, danionella, killyfish) are now gaining similar momentum with the advent of easy gene manipulation technologies.

However, most aquatic animal facilities perform manual feeding, a repetitive gesture several times a day with different types of food (solid and liquid). This activity represents an important cost of labor, with a high risk of musculoskeletal disorders. As it requires an adaptation to the number of fish in each tank and a certain degree of precision, no other option exist, apart from a very expensive and bulky fully-automated robot.

There is a growing need for a portable, semi-automatic tool to improve the delivery of various types of food in aquatic animal facilities.

Innovative solution

The solution is a portable semi-automatic food delivery system for aquatic animal facilities, composed of:
• A main unit fitting on the tanks which hosts one of the two modules below (via rails):
• A module for delivering solid food (powders, grains)
• A module for delivering liquid food (brine shrimps, rotifers, etc.)

The tool is modular, adaptable to all types of tanks, and easy to improve, with for example :
• An RFID scanner to identify tanks and deliver the right amount of food
• A WIFI module, to automatically keep track of the actions and update a log database

Suggested applications

The solution was invented for research centers with aquatic animal facilities (academic laboratories, contract research organizations – CRO, Big Pharma)

Development status

A prototype has been developed and is currently being tested by the IBPS aquatic facility in Paris. Another prototype is being produced.

Competitive advantages

• A time-saving tool dedicated to improving food-delivery for aquatic animal facilities, liquid food included
• A modular solution adaptable to any types of tanks, compact and easy to carry
• A practical and easy cleanable system, with interchangeable components and a competitive production cost
• A patent application has been filed in March 2018, protecting the device

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