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Rudolph Foods awards ONU grant for research project

Jun 8, 2007

Ohio Northern University, has been awarded a $50,622 grant from Rudolph Foods of Lima, Ohio to fund a summer research project entitled, "Vision Driven Robotic Processing for the Pork Skin Processing Industry."

Under the direction of Adam Stienecker, assistant professor of technology, the research team is seeking to develop new algorithms that will improve processing of the product to provide more efficient packaging and distribution of pork rinds produced by Rudolph Foods, the world's largest producer of pork rinds and related snacks, with annual production exceeding 100 million pounds.

The research work will be conducted in the department of technological studies in the ONU Robotics Center of Excellence on the campus of ONU utilizing the latest KUKA robotic equipment and 3D image processing technology from E+V Technology GmbH, a German company. Bob Hanley, a senior technology major from Edison, New Jersey, and Trevor Robinson, a junior technology major out of Caledonia, Ohio, will be working as research assistants on the project.

As a part of this research experience Stienecker and his students will travel to the International Robots & Vision conference in Chicago for an intensive weeklong look at the current trends in the robotic vision market.

"This is a great opportunity for ONU and our research facilities," Stienecker said. "Not only is this project providing a great learning experience for our students, but it allows ONU to be at the forefront of new technology and research while providing a service to industry."

Earlier this year, ONU and KUKA Robotics Corporation unveiled the ONU Robotics Center of Excellence. The center provides ONU students with hands-on design and programming experience using KUKA robots, controllers and software.

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