Recyclers Using AI Robots to Manage Messy Waste Processing

SITUATION:
The U.S. used to send much of its recycled waste to China– no more.
So the current recycling process needed some solutions and innovation.
The Covid-19 crisis has heightened the economic imperative to improve recycling.
To recycle in a cost-effective, comprehensive & safe way, waste goods must be broken down to constituent commodities to be sold on & processed.

SIGNIFICANCE:
Recyclers have turned to AI Robots to pick up and process the recyclable waste products:
Currently,  the sort and clean process for waste was done by hand.
Smarter recycling machinery for cars focuses on extracting three core metals — steel, copper, and aluminum.
Automation stokes anxiety about mass unemployment, but the recycling sector has been struggling to find enough workers.

SOLUTIONS:
Recyclers had to “unscramble the egg” in order to process waste to usable materials.
This technology is creating a sustainable workforce for jobs that aren’t being filled
Automotive sector is prime target for more recycling,
Cars are increasingly built with more electronics and electric vehicles contain higher value raw materials.
The AP Robotics team developing a robotic dissembler that can deal with this fundamental shift in recycling economics.
Roboticists are using computer vision, neural networks & modular robotics to find a more intelligentl & flexible approach to recycling.
AI-enabled robotics are able to identify items based on visual cues such as logos, colour, shape & texture– then sorting and taking them apart.

SAYS:
“The ban exposed how vulnerable the current infrastructure for recycling is,”  – Chris Wirth, VP, Marketing AMP Robotics.
“You can categorise & subcategorise, & the robotics are getting smarter as a result of artificial intelligence” –
“This technology is creating a sustainable workforce for jobs that aren’t being filled,”  “These are the dull, dirty, dangerous kind of jobs which robotics and AI is perfect for.” – All quotes from Chris Wirth.

SOURCES:  Recyclers turn to AI robots after waste import bans- https://newstral.com/en/article/en/1154997416/recyclers-turn-to-ai-robots-after-waste-import-bans

WHAT ABOUT AMP Robotics?  The company that is doing all of this
AMP Robotics operates in the US, Canada, Japan & Europe, installs technologies for existing machinery to minimize the need for big infrastructure changes.
Installs vision systems that provide data analytics that help the facilities to track materials processing and purity levels.

 

The UK's first AI waste sorting robot - Green Recycling - YouTube

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