The new one-year project is supported by a grant of £448,850 from the UK Government via Innovate UK and the EPSRC’s Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) research fund. It will focus on automating the processes of handling, weighing and transporting the raw ingredients. It will also make strides in developing key hygiene and food safety features which will be crucial when using robotic production systems within the food manufacturing sector.

“I’ve been automating food production systems for my whole career, nearly 30 years, and the time is right for robotics. There have been a couple of false dawns but the industry need a productivity boost and the technology is now available at the right price point – it’s really exciting,” says Stephen White, OAL’s Lead Automation Engineer on the project. “APRIL is a great example of this in the way she uses robotics to simplify how we cook food. We’re able to emulate how you would cook at home with small batches with up to half the amount of capital of equipment required in a traditional system.”