RoBUTCHER aims to develop an autonomous Meat Factory Cell (MFC) for the meat processing sector using Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Mechatronics and Co‐operative Human–Robot Interaction. The project outcome will be evaluation and demonstration of prototype cell within an operational pilot facility.
RoBUTCHER is a disruptive concept for the meat sector. For NORSUS, the main goal will be to evaluate social impacts of introducing the Meat Factory Cell concept at the slaughterhouse. The evaluation will be seen in comparison to the conventional slaughter and linear cutting process (today’s system). Social aspects such as working conditions, employment generation, health and safety, equal opportunities, working hour and more, are to be evaluated in order to map the social opportunities and barriers to MFC deployment.
Furthering the application and experience with social life-cycle assessment (LCA) methods in the European meat sector will help in defining key performance indicators feasible for the meat sector and industry. NORSUS is also responsible for organizing focus groups in which slaughterhouse workers interact with the demonstrator. The purpose of these focus groups will be to extract information about user needs, how the system will work in practice (given user experience), how design elements can be adjusted to appear more convenient, safe and efficient for workers, and how computer-operator interfaces can be more user-friendly.
The traditional environmental life cycle assessment, a well-established methodology for evaluating the environmental impacts of the food industry, does not assess the pillar of social sustainability. Therefore, more recently a Social LCA method has been introduced to evaluate social impacts for involved stakeholders.
NORSUS is one of ten partners and NMBU are the project manager.