M. S. Thesis Abstract
Manipulation of Dynamic Natural Objects
investigates the problem of locating and manipulating dynamic natural
objects, whose motion is unknown and difficult to model. The automated
transfer of live broilers from a conveyor to a shackle line at the poultry
processing plant is examined as a specific example. The broilers are
randomly placed onto a conveyor and must be separated and oriented in a
pre-specified pose for subsequent transfer to a shackle line.
The thesis establishes an engineering basis for the design and control of an
automated manipulator, which separates and orients the dynamic natural
objects for asubsequent transfer process. The system consists of a conveyor
and two counter-rotating cylinders with a number of rubber bristles attached
to their outside surface. By independently controlling the speed of the
conveyor and the two cylinders, the natural objects can be separated into
single file and their orientation affected in a consistent manner.
Specifically a design for such a manipulator is presented and the
manipulator is tested with live broilers. The dynamics of the manipulator is
modeled and the motion of a natural object as it passes through the
manipulator is simulated. The combination of experimental testing and
simulation provides a basis for incorporating the natural behavior of
objects into a computer-controlled system.
This research has immediate application in the poultry industry where the
transfer of live birds is an expensive and unpleasant task and automation is