Zen Robotics has developed an intelligent recycling robot, which is able to segregate recyclable waste from garbage.
It was tested at a construction site where it was able to identify materials such as wood, concrete, plastics and metals. The CEO of Zen Robotics, Harri Valpola explained that the system was currently capable of handling waste disposal that conventional systems such as drums or mechanical means cannot handle. He added that the robot adheres to industrial standards and is capable of distinguishing between shapes. The robot distinguishes between various shapes with the help of visual sensors, weight measurements, metal detectors and a tangible feedback system from the robotic arm.
At the construction site of SITA, the robot was positioned near a conveyor belt that was loaded with materials. The robot picked up and analysed the materials as it moved on the conveyor belt. The recognised material was placed in an appropriate bin and the ones that were not recognised were discarded. The sensors in the robot included cameras that are capable of detecting normal light, three-dimensional scanners, touch sensors and spectrometers. Spectrometers were helpful in recognising waste material such as wood, which were shaped in an odd manner and also with nails. Some of the objects were recognised based on the light they reflected. SITA expects the robot to help in increasing the amount of recyclable material than that, which is discarded.