Green Economy

Published on May 2nd, 2011 | by Glenn Meyers


ZenRobotics Recycler Released

May 2nd, 2011 by  

ZenRobotics Recycler Source:

The waste management industry and robots are getting to know each other better, especially when it comes to the business of recycling.

ZenRobotics, a Finnish high-tech company founded in 2007 has released its initial signature product, the ZenRobotics Recycler.

According to Zen Robotics, the robot uses a variety of sensors to distinguish and sort recyclable items. The company refers to this sorting technology as sensor fusion.

On its website, Zen Robotics writes: “In the picking process sensor fusion combines all sensory data – including historical data – into an analysis of whether the item is wanted or not. It is also possible to learn to use sensors by combining the data streams through machine learning methods to provide information that would be impossible to obtain just by the disparate sensors themselves. Never before has there been such a diverse and accurate analysis of waste.”

This recycling robot functions as a highly sophisticated waste sorting system. According to the company, the ZenRobotics Recycler has been designed for commercial and industrial waste, municipal solid waste, and construction waste.

Of interest, the entire robotic sorting system has been assembled with off-the-shelf industrial robotics components. This machine sorting system utilizes is able to separate raw materials from waste.

Unlike any other sorting method, the ZenRobotics Recycler can perform multiple simultaneous sorting tasks – for instance, reclaiming various raw materials and removing contaminants from the main stream. Contaminant removal may include separating unwanted materials like electronics, PVC, or minerals.

Jaakko Särelä, PhD, the CEO of ZenRobotics, believes that clean technologies are being developed globally for the business sector. Now the time is ripe for the development of environmental technologies such as this recycling robotic device. “Our robotic artificial intelligence-based recycling system is an excellent spearhead that Finland can use in its rush towards international acclaim in clean technology,” he said in a press announcement.

The company hopes its ZenRobotics Recycler will revolutionize the way recycling work and help solve a global waste crisis. To this end, SITA Finland Ltd., a subsidiary of the largest environmental services provider in Europe, has announced it will collaborate with ZenRobotics Ltd. by using the first robotic system of its kind in the world.

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About the Author

is a writer, producer, and director. Meyers was editor and site director of Green Building Elements, a contributing writer for CleanTechnica, and is founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.

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  • Anonymous

    This is a great approach to keeping valuable stuff out of our landfills. San Francisco is currently doing ‘zero landfill’ but using human sorters.

    Get the recyclable metals, paper, and plastics back into the manufacturing stream. Send the compostables to biogas/compost processors.

    I wonder if it makes sense to have a series of robotic ‘pickers’, with each doing a more specialized chore. That would seem to lend itself to a more efficient dispersal system.

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