Georgia Tech Research Institute spacer Agricultural Technology Research Program


ATRP Kicks Off FY 2014 Research Program

On July 1, the Agricultural Technology Research Program (ATRP) began FY 2014 research activities with a total of 15 projects underway. The projects span the fields of workplace safety, advanced fluid separations, adaptive robotic systems, novel audio and signal processing, energy and water conservation, and food safety screening systems. Six are full-scale research projects that address critical issues facing poultry production, while the remaining nine are special exploratory projects that seek to develop concepts and ideas for later transition into full-scale research projects. Read on for a brief description of each and stay tuned to PoultryTech for more in-depth reports.

Full-Scale Research Projects

Intelligent Cutting and Deboning System
PI: Ai-Ping Hu,
The Intelligent Cutting System uses 3D imaging and a robotic cutting arm to automatically perform precision cuts that optimize yield while eliminating the risk of bone fragments in finished poultry products.

Monitoring Bird Status in Broiler Housing Using Audio
PI: Wayne Daley,
The Growout Monitoring System analyzes bird vocalizations to determine whether they are under stress due to environmental conditions, disease, or other stressors.

Chicken Egg Fertility Detection
PI: Robert Wallace,
The Chicken Egg Fertility Detection System uses noninvasive and rapid spectrophotometric techniques to track the changing embryo in-ovo or inside the egg, providing insight into a number of practices from animal health and welfare to the inoculation regime.

Novel Separation Technologies for Poultry Processing Liquid Streams
PI: John Pierson,
Dynamic Filtration research is investigating techniques to more selectively capture target impurities from poultry processing liquid streams in a way that facilities the recovery of value-added byproducts while still meeting or exceeding water reuse guidelines.

Preparation of Magnetic Beads for Low-Level Pathogen Preconcentration
PI: Jie Xu,
A prototype sampling system uses coated magnetic beads to capture and hold pathogens/bacteria in fluid samples. The system shows promise as a viable and simple method for capturing bacteria in food safety applications.

Worker Safety
PI: Sim Harbert,
A Mobile Motion Capture (MiMiC) System uses smartphone technology and motion sensors to capture and then analyze ergonomics data from poultry plant workers as they perform their jobs. The key purpose of MiMiC is to optimize the workers’ performance, leading to increased productivity while reducing the risk of injury.

Exploratory Research Projects

Evaluation of Novel Intervention Strategies for Pathogen Control
PI: Jie Xu,
The goal of this project is to develop a group of new antimicrobial compounds to reduce pathogens in food products.

Adaptive Perception During Manipulation
PI: J. Michael Matthews,
The goal of this project is to develop perception algorithms that will learn, model, and track deformable poultry objects for robotic manipulation.

Monitoring Animal Well-being in a Broiler Growout House Environment Using Mobile Robotics and Sensing
PI: Colin Usher,
Researchers are exploring the use of a small, low-cost unmanned aerial robot to monitor conditions within a poultry growout house.

Automated Cone Loading with Low-Cost Robot Baxter
PI: Sean Thomas,
The humanoid Baxter robot manufactured by Rethink Robotics is being programmed to assess its ability as a robotic solution to loading poultry carcasses on cones for processing.

Ultrasonics for Disinfection
PI: Aklilu Giorges,
Researchers are evaluating the effectiveness of ultrasound for the inactivation of Salmonella in poultry processing chiller water.

Aquatic Biomass for Poultry Feed
PI: Robert Wallace,
Researchers are exploring the feasibility of using algae as feed for broiler chickens during growout.

Systems Modeling of Poultry Plant Water Usage
PI: Olga Kemenova,
Researchers will model water usage in a typical poultry processing plant, with the goal of defining areas to potentially improve water quality or reduce water use.

Enhancing the Water and Energy Efficiencies of Poultry Chilling via Ice-Water Slurries
PI: Comas Haynes,
The objective of this project is to evaluate the incorporation of ice slurries in the poultry chilling process, which researchers believe could significantly reduce water use and allow for faster chilling of product.

Advanced Enrichment Reactor
PI: John Pierson,
Researchers are studying faster culture and better preconcentration methods to improve pathogen prevention and control in large-volume poultry processing samples.