The end of an era

28. november 2022

Since early 2020 the sight of robots and pigs has been constant at the Faculty of Science and Technology (REALTEK) in NMBU, Ås.

Written by L. Eduardo Córdova-López

The EU funded RoBUTCHER project has seen its main development base in the small town of Ås, just half an hour south of Oslo, for almost three years. During that time, most of the 10 European partners of the project have been frequent visitors and collaborated with the team in the Food Automation group.

Now a new stage in the project begins with the transfer of the “Meat Factory Cell” (MFC) to one of our partners in Kulmbach, Germany. There it will be tested in an industrial setting in an established abattoir partly owned by the Max Rubner Institut.

Watch the final workshop from NMBU

It was somehow a happy and sad day at the same time. We have become so used to the sight of fresh meat and the routine of the collection, processing and new developments toward the final aim of having a functional prototype MFC. We expect that MFC, with its highly autonomic properties using core robotic technologies based on AI and cognition, could, in time, replace the conventional line production in abattoirs. The system will provide small and medium-scale meat processors with the tools to overcome many technical obstacles that prevent the adoption of robotic automation systems.

We say “good bye for now” to Ole and Dexter (our two robots). We will see you again very soon in Germany when we try and test the AI and associated systems we have been working on to get to this stage.