News | May 30, 2024

ABB Robotics And Korean Food Company Pulmuone To Explore AI-Based Automation To Develop Lab-Grown Sea Food

  • ABB has signed a collaboration agreement with Pulmuone to develop robotic solutions for handling a new range of laboratory-grown food
  • Automating various steps within cell culture handling and testing will reduce the time spent by researchers on tedious, repetitive tasks and allow process traceability
  • Robotic automation will also minimize chances of contamination or human error during the cell cultivation and testing process

ABB Robotics has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Seoul-based food processing company Pulmuone Co Ltd to develop automation solutions in the research and production of a novel range of laboratory-grown foods. Pulmuone, which owns multiple food brands such as Nasoya tofu products and Monterey Gourmet Foods, is developing a new generation of seafood products using cell cultivation.

“We are pleased to collaborate with Pulmuone and provide ABB’s robotics expertise and experience in both the food industry and life sciences,” said Craig McDonnell, Managing Director, Business Line Industries at ABB Robotics. “The ability of robots to free skilled lab workers from carrying out dull, repetitive tasks is a key advantage in an economy like South Korea, with a tight labor market. In addition, the precision and repeatability offered by robots is a major benefit in food application.“

The process of creating cultivated seafood involves separating cells from living fish and cultivating them. Under the scope of the agreement, ABB and Pulmuone will collaborate on several key areas of innovation in the development and future mass production of cell-cultured seafood. This includes the research and development of robotic automation to enhance the efficiency of production and prevent cross-contamination.

ABB will leverage its complete portfolio of automation solutions, including potential AI-based solutions, software, robots as well as automation expertise to develop cell-cultured seafood. While specific solutions are yet to be identified, some operations will still require human intervention, so ABB’s portfolio of collaborative robots (cobots) will likely play a key role in any future solutions. Cobots can be programmed to work safely alongside human operators without the need for conventional barriers.

"By integrating ABB's AI robotics technology, a global leader in automation and robotics, with Pulmuone's specialized foundational technology in seafood cell cultivation, we expect to enhance our technological competitiveness and create greater synergy in the development of advanced seafood technology.” said Kim Sang-gu, Director of Food Safety at Pulmuone Technology Center. "We will accelerate the establishment of an innovative mass production system for sustainable cultivated seafood products in the near future, leading to groundbreaking technological innovations.“

ABB Robotics has previously worked extensively around the world providing solutions in industries such healthcare and life sciences, with many robots deployed in quality control labs. Much of the experience gained in these related applications will be directly relevant to future development work with Pulmuone.

Source: ABB