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Human Assist Robot introduced to Australian meat processors

15 Aug 2008

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) will introduce Australian meat processors to robot technology that has the potential to counter workplace injuries and broaden the pool of workers available to the industry.

The prototype of a 'human assist robot' will be unveiled and demonstrated to processors at a series of special hands-on workshops to be conducted at Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE's (NMIT) Meat Processing and Training Centre, Epping from August 18 - 20.

When used in the process of boning frozen carcases, the device can augment the effort of the worker to a factor of 10 times, which has the potential of significantly reducing strain and lessening the incidence of strain-related injuries.

The 'robot' does not take the place of a boner but provides mechanical assistance with this strength-sapping process. Use of the device does not mask the worker's ability to retain the 'feel' of the meat during boning.

Because of the device's ability to augment the effort of the meat worker to such an extent, more people can do the job without concerns about having high levels of physical strength - good news for processors looking for workers.

US company, Kinea Design, has developed the robot with funding provided by the MLA and the Australian Meat Processor Corporation.

For further information:

Meat & Livestock Australia
Sean Starling
Manager - Innovation & Capability Building
Mobile: 0419 891 950

Tim Morgan
Development Manager -Earth Sciences
Mobile: 0414 826 921


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NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) - Situated on seven campuses and six training centres throughout Melbourne's north, NMIT delivers vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning capabilities for a global workforce. NMIT forges partnerships with community, industry and government to produce practical, solution orientated graduates capable of making meaningful contributions to their chosen field of endeavour.