Accurate Robotic Micro Ingredient Weighing

Weighing out powders is a manual repetitive task that is highly susceptible to human error. The APRIL Robotics Weighing Station automates this task offering unrivalled accuracy, efficiency and allergen control.

Advanced torque force sensors within the robots allow us to weigh out ingredients to an accuracy of +/- 1g or 1% of weight consistently.

traditional micro weighing

Reduce Ingredient Giveaway

Automated micro ingredient weighing ensures each ingredient of a recipe is correctly weighed without material giveaway and unnecessary financial losses.

Weighing is a common, repetitive task perfectly suited to robots. With robotics we can ensure ingredients are measured and traced accurately and consistently, without costly giveaway or out of specification batches. 

Robot Kinematics Weighing Research

LBR Kinematics Weighing

The APRIL Robotics Weighing Station uses best in class collaborative robots with cutting edge research from the University of Lincoln to emulate and outperform human weighing. 

Unlike traditional robots, collaborative robots have additional sensor technologies enabling new applications. The Kuka LBR kinematics can be used to derive a weight reading from the arm allowing the collaborative robot to weigh dry ingredients.

University of Lincoln researchers have applied advanced robotic techniques under our Innovate UK Project to successfully generate an interpolated weight reading from the Kuka LBR kinematics.

By implementing learning mechanisms to deal with unknown loads, an inverse dynamic model can be used to accurately estimate an unknown mass of dry ingredients.

The Kuka LBR kinematics can then be controlled to transport ingredients and poured in such a way to permit accurate measurement.

3D Vision Profiling for Highly Cohesive Materials

Highly cohesive ingredients present a major technical challenge for both human and robotic weighers.

By using a combination of the following technologies we can overcome the technical challenges of weighing highly cohesive materials:

  • 3D Vision Profiling.
  • Robotic Kinematics.
  • Drag Force Flow Sensor Technology.

The combination enables us to uniquely load and dose highly cohesive materials accurately and consistently.

Collaborative Robot Signing Autograph

To demonstrate the force sensing within a Kuka LBR collaborative robot, at Interpack 2017 in Dusseldorf, APRIL signed autographs. The University of Lincoln demonstration showed how a number of unique property's of collaborative robots are used in the project:

  • Force sensing allows variation in paper thicknesses.
  • Force detection determined when it had engaged with the pen.
  • Compliance to allow for variances in the pen position
  • Force and collaboration used for the cap collection and presentation of the pen to the audience
  • Collaborative nature of the robot - touching the robot in a particular way to tell it to do something different