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.

Artificial intelligence

Construction & asset management

Data science

Industry 4.0

Infrastructure, utilities & transport

Robotics and automation

Wireless communications & Internet of Things

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Duration

2 years

Academic team

Dr Alen Alempijevic

Dr Mickey Clemon

Dr Nick Bennett

Professor Rob Fitch

Lab

Engagement model

Funding

AWI Research & Development fund

Future applications

Automated in-shed assessment of fleece quality

Automated fleece sorting

Challenge

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.

 

Solution

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.