Automatically cutting a Lamb Forequarter in under 12 seconds.

In this video Roger Glendenning and Callum McKenzie explain the challenges faced by the Scott Vision and Sensing team to enable commercial laser profiling solutions to obtain a image in a suitable time to result in a viable solution which is now being built for evaluation by an Australian Client.


The lamb carcasses can vary greatly due to age, time of year and general variations in anatomy. 3D vision systems are ideal in situations like these, where variability is an intrinsic feature of the product itself. Scott’s system deals with this complex topography by using laser triangulation, combining the information from three SICK laser line scanner units that project a laser stripe onto the forequarter to gain detailed 3-dimensional information. The units are set at right angles to each other, effectively completely mapping the forequarter, locating cut-points on all product types.

While the CMOS image sensor can produce a massive 10,000 profiles/second, 1000 profiles per second are captured for analysis as the robot draws the forequarter past the scanner. The three scanner system gives a 0.6 second scanning time and the analysis of the entire model takes only 0.75 seconds.

The robot arm draws the forequarter through the scanning area, eliminating the need for extra handling. The resulting image guides both the robot and the bandsaw movements in harmony, quickly and accurately placing the required cuts. With a more complete image of both the internal bone structure and the external profile of the meat than a human can achieve, the robot can disassemble the forequarter to not only increase the yield but improve the quality of each cut of meat, greatly increasing its market value.

This system is currently under further development with Meat and Livestock Australia with an intention to be evaluated in Australian Lamb Company’s Colac processing facility in 2016.


To find out more about SCOTT’s Red Meat Technology, click here