Construction waste firm buys world's first robotic recycler

The first sale of a robotic recycling system powered by artificial intelligence has been made in a deal worth over 1m euros.

The ZenRobotics Recycler was snapped up Dutch firm Baetsen Recycling and will be installed next February at its construction waste recycling plant in Son, Netherlands.

Baetsen, active in one of world's leading technological regions, aims to be a front-runner in innovative recycling technology and says the robot will prove invaluable in reclaiming raw materials from the waste streams it handles.

Baetsen Group CEO Hans van Roosmalen said: "Robotic recycling is the future. It is more efficient, cleaner, and safer than existing methods."

A prototype version of the robot, developed by Finnish start-up firm ZenRobotics was sold to SITA Finland last year, who announced at the time that it had plans to test it in a live environment.

Built with off-the-shelf industrial robotics components, the system utilises machine learning to separate raw materials from waste by using multiple sensor inputs such as visible spectrum cameras, NIR, and 3D laser scanners to identify the different items.

ZenRobotics claims its robot is an energy-efficient system for picking raw materials from waste with a highly lucrative payback time.

"We see ZenRobotics Recycler as the solution for the raw materials shortage already felt globally," said CEO Rainer Rehn.

"Baetsen's region of operations upholds one the world's strictest environmental requirements, so this is a first-class design win."

Maxine Perella


| Construction | Green innovation | resource security


Waste & resource management

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