Smart Knife: Integrated Intelligence for Robotic Meat Cutting
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionIEEE Sensors Journal. 2022, 22 (21), 20475-20483. 10.1109/JSEN.2022.3208667
Automation is a key technology for a sustainable and secure meat sector in the future, both in terms of productivity and work environment. New robotic technologies, such as the so-called “meat factory cell,” (MFC) aim to contribute to this goal, but they require new “smart” tools that provide sensor feedback, which enable robots to perform complex tasks. This article presents one such tool: the smart knife, which gives real-time feedback on its contact status with meat, as well as cutting depth. The tool and the system are described, and its operation evidenced via electromagnetic (EM) simulation using the Ansys High-Frequency Structure Simulator. Furthermore, the performance of the knife is validated using pork loin meat: in the worst case, knife is shown to have an error of 1.78% for contact detection, and a mean error of 7.66 mm (±1.45 mm) for depth detection. This article also presents brief discussion regarding eventual use of the knife as part of the MFC control system, in addition to future work to be performed.