At the end of the robotics course at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), in the Netherlands, the best projects are presented and judged. This year one of the robots making it through to the finals was designed to assist in cheese manufacture. Cheese is an important and delicious export product for the Netherlands and this robot stole the end of term show.

The robot transports the 12 kg (26 lb) wheels of cheese from one area of production to the next. It collects the curds in a mould once the milk has solidified and can move and rotate the heavy wheels of cheese during processing which involves pressing and soaking in brine.

As you know the most important thing about any student project is a witty name. This robot is called Moonlander because obviously the moon is made of cheese. The robot is also able to assist Dutch dairy farmers with the tedious process of maturing the cheese rounds, because they need to be turned regularly.

Moonlander is an autonomous robot designed to orientate itself in space and adapt to different work environments and automate many of the cheese-making processes. Thankfully it’s still necessary to provide a cracker and a nice glass of wine to fully appreciate the end product... proost! (cheers!)