soft and deformable

AGILEHAND:  Smart Grading, Handling and Packaging Solutions for Soft and Deformable Products in Agile and  Reconfigurable Line 

AGILEHAND project joins the market for conveyor systems and, in particular, the segment of robots for automated material handling. In the real world, many objects to be handled, including food, clothes, bottles or plastic objects, are soft or deformable, and robots are not yet efficient and effective in handling these objects. The AGILEHAND project aims to develop AI-based technologies for autonomous classification, handling, and packaging of soft and deformable products as a strategic tool to improve the flexibility, agility, and reconfigurability of production and logistics systems of European manufacturing companies. 

Developed solutions will be demonstrated in four industrial pilot projects that differ in the surface characteristics, deformability and consistency of the products to be handled. The consortium includes two Trentino based enterprises: Cooperativa Agricola Sant’Orsola, an organization of producers specializing in the farming of small fruits, strawberries and cherries that will support the testing and validation phases within the project, and B2A S.r.l., a company that operates in the mechatronics sector and whose production focuses on fruit processing, treatment and selection lines.

Abstract: The Conveyor System market and, in particular, robot segment for the automated material handling are experiencing double-digit growth at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR). EU manufacturers in this sector plays an important role, covering 23% of the market but this technological edge is being challenged due to the astonishing growth of China, Japan and Korea. In real world, many objects to be handled, including food, clothes, bottles, or plastic items, are soft or deformable and robots are not yet efficient and effective in handling these objects. In this context, AGILEHAND aims at developing advanced technologies for grading, handling and packaging autonomously soft and deformable products, as a strategic instrument to improve flexibility, agility and reconfigurability of production and logistic systems of the European manufacturing companies. AGILEHAND will deploy 3 integrated Suites: 1) SMART SENSING SUITE, self-calibrating sensing solutions to grade the quality (both interior and exterior) of delicate objects and to produce a mesh of integrated and overlapping sensors that will improve production-line traceability, agility and reconfigurability; 2) SELF-ADAPTIVE HANDLING, SORTING AND PACKAGING SUITE, robotic manipulation systems that reacts to product quality and that can Pick-Up and Re-Orientated Different Soft and Deformable Products without causing product damage considering collaborative (human-in-the-middle) approaches; 3) AGILE, FLEXIBLE AND RAPID RECONFIGURABLE SUITE, a set of AI based solutions that will allow for monitoring, adaptive control and synchronization of production and logistics flows in a factory, even when faced with a variability of products, production mix or fresh market, guaranteeing high performance in customer response time, and an efficient use of resources. The AGILEHAND Solutions will be demonstrated in 4 industrial pilots that differ in characteristics of the surface, deformability, and consistency of the products to be handle.

Keywords: product grading; product handling; product packaging; soft and deformable products; agile processing lines; rapid reconfigurable processing lines



Project ID: 101092043

Start date: 01/01/2023
Duration: 36 Months

Kick-off meeting

Ancona (Italy), 19 January 2023


Filippo E. Ciarapica - UNIVPM




for TeV: Paul I. Chippendale


F. Poiesi and TeV team