IRS partnered with Essex through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to develop a transformative robotic gripper and vision system that enables the robotic assembly of food ingredients. As an SME, the company have benefited from 67% of project costs being covered by Innovate UK.
Prof. Klaus Macdonald-Maier and Dr Vishwanathan Mohan have been using their expertise to integrate cutting edge technology into an inherently unsophisticated production operation, and both academics are world leaders in the design and implementation of robotic vision guided grasping solutions for the soft fruit, lettuce and asparagus industries.
The project team recruited a talented robotics engineer to lead on the development of a new method of approaching the challenge without using suction cups or robotic fingers, the two standard grippers that are used in all robotic applications but are ineffective in picking up individual food ingredients. Within the first 6 months of the project, a new solution was developed, tested and patented and Raynor Foods who are one of the UK’s leading sandwich manufacturer was on-boarded to install the system in their Essex production line in Q1 2023.