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Shadow robots reality a step closer

23 February 2024
Shadow robots reality a step closer

Commercialisation of a shadow robot system for processing operations is getting closer, with the most recent stage of AMPC’s ongoing research and development delivering good results in a plant trial and the granting of a patent for the system.

AMPC’s research partner Mimeo Industrial trialled a system at JBS Brooklyn in October. The project sought to demonstrate how the technology can be used in the plant alongside staff, using the skill of an operator to make a task more comfortable and less physically demanding. Two applications were selected: picking from the individual wrapping line in the boning room, and hock cutting. 

AMPC’s Stuart Shaw says the trial generated some promising initial results and identified a number of areas for refinement.

“The goal of this stage of the project was to see how the shadow robot performed in an actual plant rather than in the workshop. We saw great results on the individual wrapping line. With limited training, the robot was easily able to pick from the conveyor belt. Across several new operators it was achieving around 70 per cent picking success and a trained operator was even more effective. The operator was able to sit in the JBS Innovation Centre while the robot did the work, showing how we can potentially work differently.” 

Unfortunately, the hock cutting demonstration didn’t progress due to unexpected overhead space constraints, but Stuart says it remains an option for later exploration.

For now, due to the ease of operating the system alongside the staff on the individual wrapping line, that’s where we’ll focus.”

The plan is to continue to use the robot in the boning room and develop it into a solution that is commercially viable for industry.

To see the shadow robot in action, watch the video here