May 2020: Status of the project
The first five of the projects 36 months have passed. At the same time, it has been unusual times with a pandemic changing the way we live and work all over the world. To find out the status of the development of the world’s first “meat factory cell” I took a chat with the project co-ordinator, Alex Mason
By Mathias Ytterdahl, Communications Officer
So, how is the project going?
– It seems not so long ago now that we all met in NMBU in Norway to start off the RoBUTCHER project, and already we are at the 6-month mark – how the time flies! There has been a lot of activity; several important meetings or workshops in Norway and Malaga and progress towards the physical and virtual infrastructure underpinning the project. At NMBU for example we have delivery of our second robot, which will be used to perform cutting functions, and several partners, Animalia, RobotNorge, DMRI and Óbuda University, have been working on identification or development of tools for cutting and gripping. We also see the concept of using real-time 3D imaging along with archived CT scans as a trajectory planning method, led by Ciklum, really come to life, tells Alex
How have COVID 19 affected the project?
– This is a difficult time for the meat industry, who does everything possible to ensure production continues. In the context of RoBUTCHER, situations like we find today really emphasise the need for automation to relieve the pressure on human resources. Secondly, I would like to commend and thank all involved in the project for continuing despite the situation – it has only been through that dedication that we have achieved so much in a short period. Of course, we have not come out unscathed and there are a few activities that require “catch-up”; however, if we continue being proactive and creative in the solutions then I am confident we shall achieve our objectives, says Alex
So what’s next on the agenda?
– The first 6-months of the project has been largely about understanding the situation, collecting preliminary information and «trying out» ideas. Now we transition to a phase of involving concretising of ideas and bringing together more of the Meat Factory Cell components so that we progress toward trials at MRI in Germany during 2022, tells Alex.