According to Finnish Technology company ZenRobotics, A robotic recycling system could help in eliminating global waste problem.
The ZenRobotics Recycler (ZRR) is an intelligent robotic system which separates construction materials on a conveyer belt, plucks out recycle materials and deposits them in bins for collection. The system is designed to replace manual sorting, which is dangerous and more expensive.
The construction and demolition sector contributes over one third of all waste. The U.S. alone contributes 325 million tons of waste every year, and the UK produces around 120 million tons waste. A not-for-profit sustainability organization based in UK suggests that over 80% of all human waste that can be recycled currently falls in landfill.
ZenRobotics founder Jufo Peltomaa says that: "In the EU alone there's 900 million tons of construction and demolition waste. If we were to convert that to the average sized car, then the queue would go 45 times around the globe.
The ZRR identifies different types of waste using a process called "sensor fusion". By analysing the data, the sensors sort through objects on a conveyor belt and distribute them into surrounding chutes. The sensor fusion system uses advanced technologies including weight measurement, 3-D scanning, tactile assessment and spectrometer analysis, which measures how much light reflects from various different materials.
Peltomaa says- "Currently construction and demolition waste is handled by manual pickers that is good but hazardous for the health. there are many poisonous materials, sharp and heavy materials, plus asbestos etc. in that waste".
ZenRobotics believes that its creation will help and ease the burden of the repetitive and dangerous job of waste filtration, which is currently done manually.
The ZRR's sensor fusion system works through a complex analysis procedure conducted once items are put into the conveyer belt. The system's sensors gather data, and is sent across to the bespoke artificial intelligence system, christened by the team as the "ZenRobotics Brain".
The brain assesses each object's material (wood, metal, stone, etc. ) and decides what to do with it. Commands are then given to the robotic arm, which picks up the objects and deposits them in the appropriate bin.
Renowned industrial designer Stefan Lindfors believes that robot could contribute to global efforts to improve recycling, but the real problem is something significantly more fundamental: "there should be less waste for us to have to sort to begin with."