In today’s world, recycling and efficient yet sustainable use of natural resources is becoming more and more important. Traditional methods of waste separation are heavy, power consuming, and require crushing of waste which makes material identification and further processing difficult and expensive. Initial investment of a waste processing plant is very high and requires centralization. Processes are not easily adaptable to waste stream changes. ZenRobotics is the leading supplier of robotic waste separation technology, and they challenge the traditional methods with their innovative solution.

Zenrobotics Recycler – sensors and robots in action

ZenRobotics Recycler combines the power of industrial robots and sensor technologies with intelligent, optimized control and analysis software. It enables extremely accurate high-speed waste separation, and it learns while processing waste – allowing quick changes in waste streams and process optimization.

ZenRobotics Recycler can simultaneously sort a variety of different materials and objects of various shapes and sizes. Various sensors monitor the waste stream and software analyses the data in real-time. Industrial robots pick waste fractions of various shapes and sizes quickly and accurately. The robot is able to work based on real-time sensor input instead of following a pre-programmed routine. Waste does not need to be crunched which makes material identification and further processing much easier. Machine learning allows to react to changes in the waste streams and recycling business. Low power consumption, notably smaller initial investment and quick adaptation to different processes makes Zenrobotics solution revolutionary compared to traditional waste separation methods.

SPECIM hyperspectral sensors extend the vision

Already in a very early stage ZenRobotics identified hyperspectral imaging as one of the potential sensor technologies. Hyperspectral imaging is becoming more and more important in industrial applications where extended spectral range reveals information that cannot be seen with a naked eye. Simultaneous detection of several spectral channels allows real time identification and separation of materials with visually similar properties.

Today, ZenRobotics Recycler applies SPECIM hyperspectral imaging technology as part of their waste separation solution.

“The key advantage and innovation of ZenRobotics solution is to combine different sensor technologies. Hyperspectral sensors complement our solution – data from hyperspectral sensors provide some information that cannot be collected with traditional sensor technologies”, says Mr. Juha Koivisto, Head of Delivery at ZenRobotics Ltd.

One of ZenRobotics main requirements for sensor providers were flexibility and willingness to develop the solution together.

“We found the flexibility of SPECIM and willingness to develop the solution together as a great advantage. We made together couple of iterations to optimize the solution, and after that we have been able to take new systems into routine operation independently. SPECIM technology has proven to be very stable, delivering reliable results. If we sometimes have questions to SPECIM, they are always answered quickly and professionally”, says Mr. Juha Koivisto.

Scalable and sustainable solution

ZenRobotics solution is scalable and can be used both in private sector and in large municipalities. Small initial investment and low power consumption makes it an attractive solution also for smaller companies or communities. Many of ZenRobotics customers are in Europe and Japan, where manpower is expensive and innovative solutions for waste separation are actively screened.

“ZenRobotics is an innovative company with great knowledge in software development, mathematical modeling and different camera and sensor technologies. Considering the growing global requirements for sustainability, one can predict large markets for ZenRobotics Recycler and high potential to a global breakthrough. We are proud to have SPECIM technology as part of this solution and thus drive forward the sustainable thinking and environmental use of natural resources”, says Mikko Kannelsuo, Sales Director of SPECIM.