Labor challenges paired with recent technological advances are making automated poultry processing more attractive. Every year, automation progresses to improve its yield compared with a human worker.

As part of the 2019 Poultry Tech Summit in Atlanta, Dr. Ai-Ping Hu, senior research engineer in Georgia Tech Research Institute's Food Processing Technology Division, will speak about intelligent robotics for poultry deboning.

Maximizing yield

Automation is nothing new in poultry processing. However, there are opportunities for advancement of automated deboning, which is traditionally done by hand in poultry processing plants. Historically, deboning machines made the same cuts over and over on different carcasses, which meant it did not yield as much meat from a carcass as a deboning crew.

Now, deboning machines are able to use sensors to determine the size and dimension of a carcass and optimize the machine’s blades to cut as much meat from the bone as possible. More precise measurements means higher yield.

Hu’s presentation will center on the ongoing work at Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) in the advancement of intelligent automation of bird deboning. GTRI is focused on three areas: using 3D image processing to measure and characterize the carcasses; predicting the anatomical structure of a specific part; and putting together all available information to create an optimized cutting path for a deboning machine to maximize yield.

The presentation will include results for GTRI’s deboning experiments using a prototype developed to perform bird shoulder cuts.

The Poultry Tech Summit is presented by WATT Global Media in collaboration with the Georgia Tech Research Institute, USPOULTRY, and the University of Georgia with support from the World’s Poultry Science Association. The event will be held November 20-22 at the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center. Registration is now open