Agricultural Technology Research Program

| Overview | Projects | Publications | Facilities | Directory | Updated December 2013


2014 International Poultry Exposition
January 28-30, 2014
Georgia World Congress Center
Atlanta, GA


ATRP’s Intelligent Cutting and Deboning System is the focus of a Tech Connection article in the August 2013 issue of Meatingplace magazine (“Rise of the Robots,” highlights the research team’s strides in automating the poultry deboning process to match the performance of humans.
View the article in PDF format.


From Apple to poultry: Enterprise Transformation insight

By Doug Britton
Special to Poultry Times

ATLANTA —  I recently had the pleasure of participating in an Enterprise Transformation short course, taught through the Tennenbaum Institute at Georgia Tech (1). The goal of the course was to provide a high level understanding of what is involved in fundamentally changing (i.e. transforming) a company, organization, agency or market sector. This seemed of particular interest to me given our recent conversations in the poultry community about the future of poultry production and processing. 
After being aptly led through a brief theory of Enterprise Transformation by Dr. William Rouse (2), we delved into case studies of IBM, Apple, GE and UPS (3-4) among others, to gain a real world understanding of the subject matter. The result was a fascinating exploration of corporate challenges and fundamental transformations. I thought that several key points and observations might be valuable to the broader poultry sector as many within industry and academia are pursing various levels of transformation.


The current issue of PoultryTech is online. The new format includes a combination of articles to provide more timely and relevant information that is of interest to a broader cross-section of readers, as well as researcher spotlights and short news and information updates.

Subscribe Now – PoultryTech’s Summer Issue is Going Green!

To receive the electronic edition of PoultryTech’s Summer issue, please subscribe online at Simply complete the short form and click submit. It’s that easy!


PoultryTech - Fall 2013

2013 ATRP Annual Report

ATRP Program Brochure


ATRP on Facebook

GTRI’s Agricultural Technology Research Program (ATRP) is now on Facebook, featuring information about exciting research initiatives underway, interesting poultry and food industry news, industry events, photos, videos, and more! We invite you to become a fan by clicking the “like” button on our page —


Georgia Tech's Food Processing Technology Building

View the Food Processing Technology Building brochure >>

Directions to the Food Processing Technology Building >>


Doug Britton, ATRP Program ManagerManager's Corner

A Message from Doug Britton, ATRP Program Manager

On November 18, 2013, the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Agricultural Technology Research Program at the Georgia Tech Research Institute had the privilege of co-hosting the first-ever Agriculture Collaboration Day. Based on a theme of “Building Partnerships to Pursue Grand Challenges in Food and Agriculture,” the event brought together senior leaders, professors, and researchers in agriculture-related disciplines from both institutions. Other invited guests included Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, Abit Massey and Mike Giles of the Georgia Poultry Federation, James Lee Adams of J.L. Farms, and Mark Glass of Mark Glass Enterprises.


Intelligent Cutting 2.0: Rebuilding the Poultry Deboning Robot

Researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) recently completed the first year of a three-year project to rebuild their Intelligent Cutting and Deboning System, with the goal of making it into a bionic poultry deboner that can rival the cutting skills of the most experienced human.


Visit ATRP in Booth 7965 at the 2014 International Production & Processing Expo

The Agricultural Technology Research Program (ATRP) is excited about its plans to participate in the 2014 IPPE, January 28-30, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. ATRP’s exhibit will highlight the program’s research advancements and display prototype systems that seek engineering solutions that enhance process efficiency and product safety in today’s poultry industry.
For more information, visit


Vocalization Study Provides Insight into the Well-Being of Birds in Growout Houses

Sensors capable of reliably monitoring the well-being of birds reared in confined housing currently do not exist. Two years ago, engineers with the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) and poultry scientists at the University of Georgia (UGA) set out to investigate whether the birds themselves could be the answer. Anecdotal evidence and previous research at the University of Connecticut indicated that this might be a possibility. So, to help the poultry industry assess growout house conditions and thus flock health and performance, the team built an experimental monitoring system. The Growout Monitoring System collects and then analyzes bird vocalizations to determine if the birds are behaving in an unusual manner due to environmental conditions, disease, or other stressors.


USDA’s Poultry Inspection Proposal: Separating Myth vs. Fact

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been exploring the modernization of its poultry inspection system for two decades — a system that was originally developed in the 1950s. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) in 1997 reported that studies by the National Academy of Sciences, the General Accounting Office (now, Government Accountability Office), and USDA “have established the need for fundamental change in the meat and poultry inspection program.”


3D-Printed Robot Arm for Crop Inspection

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revised its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) last year. Two significant changes require the use of new labeling elements and a standardized format for Safety Data Sheets (SDS), formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). The first compliance date of the revised HCS is December 1, 2013. By that date, OSHA expects companies to have trained their workers on the new label elements and the SDS format.


Poultry and Meat Outlook: What’s Ahead for 2014

What’s ahead for U.S. poultry and meat businesses? The 2014 outlook is mixed — everything from rosy with production increases and profits for chicken producers to gloomy with erosion of demand and margins for beef packers.


Technical Assistance Is Just a Phone Call Away

The Agricultural Technology Research Program (ATRP) provides no-cost technical assistance to Georgia-based firms and individuals in the poultry industry. These assists include simple inquiries regarding information or help needed to address a problem and extensive on-site consultations in which researchers collect data and provide a full report on their findings and recommendations. The technical assistance program also offers in-plant energy assessments designed to help companies identify strategies of reducing energy usage and costs. Recently, the program was extended to include workplace safety consultations, specifically those focused on ergonomics and cumulative trauma disorders. ATRP uses input from all assists to gauge situations calling for new research initiatives in energy, environmental, safety, and other areas.
To inquire about the program or to schedule an assist, call Doug Britton at 404-407-8829 or email

Agricultural Technology Research Program
| Food Processing Technology Division | Georgia Tech Research Institute
All inquiries for project information should be made to the appropriate personnel. See the Directory of Personnel for the correct contact information.
USPS Mailing: Georgia Tech Research Institute, Food Processing Technology Building, Atlanta, GA 30332-0823
Fedex, UPS, DHL Mailing: Georgia Tech Research Institute, Food Processing Technology Building, 640 Strong St, NW , Atlanta, GA 30318
Main Line: 404-407-8812 • Fax Line: 404-894-8051
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