ATRP Acquires Adaptive Robot for Manufacturing Applications
The Agricultural Technology Research Program (ATRP) has acquired a manufacturing robot for use as a research test bed. The U.S.A.-made Baxter robot from Rethink Robotics can handle many repetitive production tasks that are typically difficult or expensive to automate, freeing human operators to focus on more value-added jobs. That makes it particularly useful for ATRP project teams as researchers explore automating several repetitive tasks in poultry processing. The first project to use the Baxter will be a FY 2014 exploratory research endeavor to evaluate Baxter’s ability to automatically place chicken carcasses on cones for processing in a poultry plant.
“The acquisition of the Baxter robot is very exciting for ATRP as it provides us with a tool that is designed specifically to operate in close proximity to people in a manufacturing or other labor-intensive setting. This is an extremely important technological development as it will enable the use of robotics in places that previously would not have been possible. We are very interested in leveraging this tool and capability to support many of the manual tasks in a poultry processing environment,” said Dr. Doug Britton, ATRP program manager.