Meat & Livestock News

Shadow Robots: A Leap Towards Futuristic Processing Operations


  • The Australian Meat Processor Corporation (AMPC) is advancing towards the commercialisation of a shadow robot system, showing promising results in plant trials and securing a patent.
  • Initial trials at JBS Brooklyn demonstrated the robot’s potential to make tasks more comfortable and reduce physical demands for operators.
  • The focus remains on refining the robot for specific applications like picking from the individual wrapping line, with plans to explore its use in other areas like hock cutting.

The Australian Meat Processor Corporation (AMPC) is on the brink of revolutionising processing operations with its shadow robot system, moving closer to commercialisation. Recent developments in AMPC’s research and development have yielded positive outcomes during a plant trial at JBS Brooklyn, conducted by research partner Mimeo Industrial in October.

This trial aimed to integrate the shadow robot into the plant’s operations, enhancing task efficiency and reducing the physical strain on workers.

Two specific applications were tested: picking from the individual wrapping line in the boning room and hock cutting. The trial revealed the system’s capability to significantly ease the workload on staff, particularly in picking operations. Stuart Shaw from AMPC highlighted the trial’s success, noting the robot’s approximately 70% picking success rate with minimal training for new operators.

A trained operator could achieve even higher efficiency, demonstrating the system’s potential to transform work processes. The operator could oversee the robot’s operations remotely from the JBS Innovation Centre, illustrating a shift towards more innovative working methods.

However, the hock-cutting application faced challenges due to unforeseen spatial constraints, postponing its exploration to future trials. Despite this, the successful integration of the robot on the individual wrapping line has directed the project’s focus towards perfecting this application.

The ongoing development aims to refine the shadow robot into a commercially viable solution for the industry, promising to redefine productivity and worker safety in processing facilities. The AMPC plans to continue trials in the boning room, focusing on enhancing the robot’s functionality and operational success.