Robotics for de-heading fish ‐ a case study
Robotic solutions for the handling of food products have been notably absent from suppliers' catalogues and indeed from research laboratories. This is primarily due to the peculiarities that handling food adds to the general pick-and-place task. These are the complexity of handling non-rigid products that are infinitely variable in shape, the hygiene requirement which stipulates IP65 or better for the hose-down environment, and the reality that the food industry produces low margin products that only make substantial profits at large volumes, whilst also requiring perfect product presentation to the consumer. In this environment, tasks which have both a short payback and other commercial advantages, such as increased operator safety or improved quality, whilst also being technically feasible, are not immediately obvious.
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