Brain-Powered, Solar-Powered Recycling

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

World's first solar powered robotic recycler from ZenRoboticsFinland-based ZenRobotics Ltd. has been marketing a robotic recycling system that works like the human brain, and now another layer of sustainability is being slathered on top. In what is apparently a worldwide first, the Belgium recycling company Containers Maes will install the company’s ZenRobotics Recycler™ system and run it on solar power.

A Robotic Recycler that Works Like a Brain

Though Containers Maes has enthused that it was a “no-brainer” to choose the ZenRobotics Recycler, the heart of the system is its brain-like controlling technology.

Called the ZenRobotics Brain, the system was inspired by the cerebellum, which is responsible for the timing and coordination of movements. The ZenRobotics Brain uses at least six different types of sensory devices to provide the recycling system’s off-the-shelf robotic arms with a real-time stream of information that enables high-precision sorting.

That includes several different kinds of cameras as well as, 3-D scanners, tactile feedback, and metal detectors.

The ZenRobotics Brain is also capable of responding to changes as well as “learning” from its mistakes.

A Solar Power Solution for Recycling

One obstacle standing in the way of long-term sustainability for the bulk recycling industry is its heavy reliance on fossil-fueled vehicles and machinery.

The ZenRobotics Recycler, for example, involves an energy-sucking conveyor belt in addition to the energy required for running the robotic sorting arms and the controlling system.

The system does cut down on fuel use related to waste hauling, though. Designed to handle construction debris, the ZenRobotics Recycler is transportable and can be installed temporarily on site, eliminating the need to truck unsorted waste to a central facility.

The real “game-changer,” as Containers Maes puts it, is combining the recycling system with solar power and other forms of renewable energy.

Here in the U.S., the gigantic waste disposal and recycling company Waste Management has also been transitioning to alternative energy and energy efficient technology, including its “BigBelly” solar powered trash compactor and various landfill gas initiatives.

Note: Check out YouTube to see the ZenRobotics Recycler in action, check out their YouTube video.

Image (cropped): Courtesy of ZenRobotics.

Follow me on Twitter: @TinaMCasey.


Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Latest CleanTechnica TV Video


I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it!! So, we've decided to completely nix paywalls here at CleanTechnica. But...
 
Like other media companies, we need reader support! If you support us, please chip in a bit monthly to help our team write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech stories a day!
 
Thank you!

Advertisement
 
CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.

Tina Casey

Tina specializes in advanced energy technology, military sustainability, emerging materials, biofuels, ESG and related policy and political matters. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on LinkedIn, Threads, or Bluesky.

Tina Casey has 3237 posts and counting. See all posts by Tina Casey