Australian Wool Innovation: Automated wool handling

This project aims to reduce the cost of fleece processing by demonstrating the feasibility of an automated system to inspect, trim and bale.


Freshly shorn fleece undergoes manual ‘wool handling’, which includes quality inspection, trimming and baling. Recruiting skilled and unskilled workers to perform these tasks has become increasingly difficult and expensive.



The UTS Tech Lab team proposes streamlining the supply chain by automating the wool handling process. Data from skilled wool quality assessors will be used to train an automated image-based wool grade classifier.

Robots will detect and trim the dirty parts of the wool and bale (i.e. package into large bags) it for transport. A stretch goal is to incorporate sensors that will text a driver for pickup when the baling is complete.

2 years

Academic team
Dr Alen Alempijevic
Dr Mickey Clemon
Dr Nick Bennett
Professor Rob Fitch


Engagement model
R&D as a service

AWI Research & Development fund

Future applications
Automated in-shed assessment of fleece quality
Automated fleece sorting

Area of expertise
Data science
Industry 4.0
Robotics and automation
Wireless communications & Internet of Things