This project aims to develop a sorting system for crustaceans farming based on robotic technology and machine vision to automatise the task, which would increase the productivity and profitability of crustacean farms.
The project “Robotics for the automatic Sorting of Crustaceans” or RoSC aims at improving the efficiency of crustaceans farming by enabling the automation of sorting and monitoring. The successful collaboration between Noola Redclaw Ltd, a SME developing the technology for land-based crayfish farming, and the University of Lincoln, which specialises in robotics and machine vision technologies for the agricultural sectors led to the design and testing of a robotic arm, which is small, lightweight and can be mounted on top of any tank. The arm has a gripper which can trap and move crayfish based on features set by the user. The project has also developed a machine vision algorithm that can identify crayfish and their size.
This feasibility study was successful in demonstrating that new technologies can be developed to improve productivity of farming operations. Through this technology, operational efficiency can be increased by adopting robots for specific tasks. The machine vision functionality has shown that it is possible to detect and monitor crayfish sizes. An R&D project can integrate this information with stock management decisions such as feeding, survival and performance, allowing the optimisation of resource usage. The project adds know-how to the UK seafood industry and academic sector, opening up new commercial opportunities with both developed countries where labour costs are an important factor in a company’s competitiveness and in developing countries where scaling up is hindered due to high inefficiencies at farming operations.
Noola Redclaw Ltd