The Digital ERF
The European Robotics Forum 2021 (ERF 2021) is the most influential meeting of the robotics community in Europe. This year it was held as an online virtual event, due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, between 13th-15th April 2021. The ERF2021 had registered 852 worldwide delegates in attendance and covered all aspects and current themes related to the robotics field. Researchers, engineers, managers, and a growing number of entrepreneurs, business people, and public funding officers from all over Europe came together to discuss technology push and market pull and how to accelerate innovation in robotics and robotics-related AI. Social events included a beer tasting session, morning exercise sessions, a charity run and an Escape Room challenge. Delegates from NMBU who entered the beer tasting session were unfortunately left standing at the bar with empty glasses and are still awaiting the said beer to clear customs!
A collaboration between Obuda University's Tamás Haidegger and Kristóf Takács and NMBU's Alex Mason and Steven Ross had organized a workshop for the event titled: Challenges in Automated Food Processing, which included presentations from the RoBUTCHER consortium.
Workshop: Challenges in Automated Food Processing
The topical focus of the workshop is how the spread of robotics in the food industry has become necessary to keep up with the challenges and demands of the 21st century. The goal was to present the latest trends and developments related to food and food processing robotics and to discuss the roadmap for future enhancements to these fields. Note that the full workshop is available as a YouTube video, included below.
The workshop consisted of three parts a keynote talk, poster presentations and a roundtable discussion beginning with the keynote talk from Professor Alex Mason titled: Standardized red meat processing in the 21st century. His address consisted of the RoBUTCHER research project overview, which focuses on building the first completely automated cell-based slaughterhouse by an international consortium, funded by the European Commission Horizon 2020 and coordinated by NMBU.
The keynote preceded nine teaser poster presentations from members of the RoBUTCHER consortium. The prize for best poster presentation, voted by the audience via an online poll, went to Olga Korostynska and Anna Mathew for Feasibility of Using NIR Spectroscopy in Automated Meat Cutting. The complete list of posters includes:
- Oleh Smolkin, Deep Learning and Computer Vision Engineer from Ciklum, a digital solutions company from Ukraine, titled: Computer Vision for Robot Butcher
- Olga Korostynska, Professor at Olso Metropolitan University and Associate professor at The Norwegian University of Life Sciences presenting on behalf of Anna Mathew, MSc Student, Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway, titled: Feasibility of Using NIR Spectroscopy in Automated Meat Cutting
- Dmytro Romanov, PhD candidate at The Norwegian University of Life Sciences, As, titled: Human Robot Collaboration in the Meat Industry
- Ian de Medeiros, PhD candidate, at The Norwegian University of Life Sciences, As, titled: Intelligent Cutting System for an Innovative Meat Factory Cell
- Jeppe Bo Andersen, Consultant from the Danish Technological Institute - DMRI, titled: Key Point detection in automated meat processing
- Tamás Haidegger, Associate Professor at Obuda University in Budapest, Hungary, EKIK Director, Co-Founder of HandlnScan and Research Manager at ACMIT, titled: The role of Digital Innovation Hubs in promoting new technologies
- Tamas Haidegger / Kristóf Takács, PhD Candidate, Obuda University in Budapest, Hungary, titled: Open Issues in Agri-food Robot Standardization—the Red Meat Sector
- Kristóf Takács / Bence Takács, PhD candidate, Obuda University in Budapest, Hungary, titled: Feasibility Test of Limb Gripping
- Kristóf Takács / Sándor Tarsoly, Software Engineer, Obuda University in Budapest, Hungary, titled: Optimized Physical Layout Design for Improved Robotic Pig Processing Workflow
The round table discussion fell victim to technical difficulties whereby only a quarter of the 33 recorded workshop viewers could gain access. However, American robot entrepreneur Patrick Kedziora, founder and CEO of Eden Robotics, was in attendance and generated discussion around the subject of future RoBUTCHER commercialization opportunities.