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Method and apparatus for automatically segmenting animal carcasses

Image Number 9 for United States Patent #5314375.

Manually segmenting animal carcasses into primary cuts involves an enormous amount of manual labor and attendant expense. However, known automated systems for segmenting carcasses cannot match the accuracy of expert butchers. The apparatus for segmenting animal carcasses disclosed herein provides an imaging station having a vision system that determines parameters of the interior and/or exterior of the carcass. Using these parameters, a computer determines a cutting path or a plurality of cutting paths for segmenting the carcass. A mounting vehicle, which securely holds the carcass, transports the carcass from the imaging station to a cutting station. In the cutting station, electrically controlled cutting implements, such as high-pressure water jets or lasers, segment the carcass along the determined cutting path or paths.

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