Successful student workshops at NMBU

25. november 2022

An important part of the RoBUTCHER project is dissemination and communication. To fulfil this task, several workshops have been arranged at the NMBU RoBUTCHER lab, for various stakeholders.

In line with the activities planned in task 8.1 Dissemination, exploitation and communication, four student workshop events were arranged at the University during November 2022, to allow students from several cohorts and backgrounds to experience first-hand the system developed during the project. About 40 students in Norway and Ukraine, ranging from high school to PhD level, attended these workshops.

All events were physical, except for those students attending from Ukraine due to current travel restrictions. The project has good remote access facilities, so those students were able to join the workshops virtually and experience the activities untaken during the workshops alongside those physically attending.

The main aim of the workshops hosted at NMBU has been to widen the engagement of the project to student audiences, and to inspire more initiatives and work related to the challenging field of utilising robotics for meat (and food) automation. More experts are needed to meet future research, development and in-process implementation of such systems, and it is students in automation, robotics and data science who are among those most likely to fulfil that requirement.

The project therefore hosted several very open workshops, with the core being a step into the everyday life of the R&D part of the project. Typically, the workshops were arranged with two main parts. In the first part, an overview of the project was given, including information of the project goals, the partners, and why we are doing that work.

In the second part, students were invited to partake and follow a typical day in the development of the MFC in the RoBUTCHER Lab at NMBU. At the time of the workshops, the project was focused on refining AI-driven cutting paths for both the shoulder and ham cuts from an entire (hot) carcass. The students were able to observe the process implemented, ask questions, and discuss the approaches taken to the work. Full explanations of the equipment, software and robotic systems used in the process were given. The combination of robots, 3D scanning, programming and AI conveyed very well the complexity of the project.

The events were received positively by those attending, with many questions and discussions ensuing, regarding the implementation, the process, and what might come next for such a project in the future. The student events have broadened the audiences to which the project has been exposed and have been met with keen interest from those participating.

Thanks to the following people for arranging cohorts to attend workshops at NMBU:

Written by Alex Mason and Frøydis Bjerke