M. S. Thesis Abstract

QUASI-STATIC FORCE ANALYSIS OF AN AUTOMATED LIVE-BIRD TRANSFER SYSTEM

Jeffry Hartono Joni

December 2000

This thesis models and analyzes the grasping forces of a flexible finger on a dynamic object, addressing an essential problem in transferring natural live objects from a moving conveyor to a processing line. A specific example is the development of an automated system to transfer live birds to a moving shackle line in the poultry processing plant, which involves locating both legs of the bird and inserting them in the shackle. Specifically, this thesis develops methods of determining the birdís posture and manipulating leg kinematics of the bird for an automated live-bird inverting mechanism.

The thesis focuses on three specific tasks that will serve as the basis for design optimization and control of an automated transfer system developed at Georgia Tech, which consists of an inclined conveyor, a pair of rotating graspers, and a shackle mechanism. First, a model is developed to analyze the legs kinematics of the bird in order to study the birdís posture as it moves through the counter-rotating drums. Second, a force analysis is then performed to predict the forces exerted by the fingers. Since the kinematics and the forces acting on the birds depend significantly on the initial posture, the third task develops a machine-vision algorithm to detect the birdís posture at the entrance of the counter-rotating drums.

This research has immediate application in the poultry industry where an automated transfer of live bird system is preferred over an expensive and unpleasant task of manual operation.