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Robotics Industry Insights

Food Lovers Can Thank Robots

by Brian Huse, Director, Marketing & PR, Robotic Industries Association
Robotic Industries Association

This Thanksgiving, people who love food may have a robot to thank. Maybe not one to prepare and cook the meal (and only a few prototypes have been designed to wash the dishes), but somewhere in your freezer or cupboard is probably an item that a robot handled.
Since the days of I Love Lucy (and before), companies that make food have been searching for faster, more efficient handling of their product. Interactive Design, Inc. (IDI) an RIA integrator member, tackled a job that would have foiled even Lucille Ball had she been tempted to make fun of handling frozen food on a conveyor instead of chocolate candy.
Expert integrators at IDI used eight Adept Quattro (delta) robots to solve a production challenge for the maker of frozen baked goods. You’ll have to ask Nate Maholland at IDI for the details (I’m not sure how much I can reveal), but whether you are in the food business or make power transformers to keep the ovens working, their company can help.
RIA members like IDI show us just how versatile robotics are in today’s business world. Most are just as comfortable solving food processing challenges as assembling a new kind of core for transformers. In fact, one of IDI's customers will use their system to market a patented new process for making cores that meet new specifications from the government for more efficient transformers.
Robotics technology is often just one aspect of a member company’s expertise. IDI is also a member of Automated Imaging Association which reflects their prowess as machine vision integrators. Other times they can provide solutions that take advantage of the latest mechatronics technology, and they have capabilities in more applications and industries than fit into this editorial.
A call today with IDI reminded me how thankful the Association is to have members as versatile and qualified as they are and it felt right to share that. Who are you thankful for this holiday season?
See Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance in the episode where they package candy on a conveyor belt.

See Adept Quattro in a video where it packs chocolate candy at speeds that would make Lucille faint.

Originally published by RIA via www.robotics.org on 11/23/2009

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