Studentenverhaal

Optimising a pick and place robot for agro-enterprises

I am a second-year master student in Biosystems Engineering. I have no background in agriculture. My interest is drawn to the agricultural sector because of its importance in the world. No farmers no food is what you hear often and no efficient food processing will result in a lack a food to feed for the ever growing world population in the near future.

Personally, writing this thesis is teaching me to apply the knowledge gained during the courses.

I received the bachelor's Agrotechnology here at Wageningen University & Research. After the bachelor's, there are choices to continue your master's in. I have chosen the tracks in Farm Technology and in Operations Research and Logistics (ORL).

Currently, I am writing my master's thesis in the ORL track. The thesis is in cooperation with Marel Poultry situated in Boxmeer. Marel Poultry is a processing company that offers the whole line in poultry processing, from live bird handling equipment to a piece of breast filet. The research is about optimising the configurations of their pick and place robot. This robot can make fixed weight batches of breast filet, drumsticks or whole legs.

This thesis is a typical example of operations research. Operations Research and Logistics is part of our everyday life, everywhere where products are transported, handled or transformed from one product to another. We want our products to be delivered at home, in the right amount at the right time. Moreover, the increasing demand for food and feed requires us that we take good care of our resources. This thesis can contribute to this efficient food production by batching the products as accurate as possible, which results in less meat to be wasted.

Personally, writing this thesis is teaching me to apply the knowledge gained during the courses. ORL offers a variety of thesis topics. Also topics without any agricultural application, like the coordination of traffics lights or the harbour of Rotterdam. So there is always a topic that will draw your attention.