We're halfway there

20. september 2021

The RoBUTCHER project lasts until June 2023. So that means that we are over half- way along our RoBUTCHER- journey, and the Meat Factory Cell takes shape.

See more about how the project has developed and the different partners’ contribution

By: Alex Mason, project co-ordinator
Robots? Check! Knives? Check! Grippers? Check! Grippers from both DTI-DMRI and OBUDAUNI have performed flawlessly for their respective applications, and NMBU have invented a new type of knife to provide feedback to the robots during cutting. We have also been able to show it is possible to remove a ham, using the two robots, Ole and Dexter, to perform the task. It was not quick, and it was not easy, but there was success in the end.

Naturally, with all the tools in place,
it comes the time to test out the brains of the operation. That is the Artificial Intelligence modules created by CIKLUM, as well as the control software produced by BYTEMOTION and ROBOTNORGE. So far it has been small steps, but towards the end of June, it has been possible to capture a 3D model of pig in the cell, automatically generate a path for a saw to cut along using AI, and have the robot execute that path.

It’s good then that MRI have been working hard to ensure preparedness for the cell being moved to Germany, later in the project. We see also that RoBUTCHER continues to attract interest from the outside world. That has included audiences at conferences, like the European Robotics Forum, growth of the project End-user Reference Group led by FACCSA, or the investigation of social impact by NORSUS. It has also been refreshing to see a change in the language used to describe the relationship between innovation and food safety, potentially opening the way for greater levels of innovation. This can only come about thanks to the hard work of key organisations, including ANIMALIA, who actively encourage new ways of thinking based on evidence.