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Robots pick the prize

Q: What is your product?

ZenRobotics makes ZenRobotics Recycler, a robotic recycling system. Designed for construction and demolition streams, the system applies artificial intelligence (AI) to sort valuable fractions from waste with high efficiency.

Q: How does it work?

ZenRobotics Recycler comes in two flavours: either the fast robotic picking cell is installed on a construction and demolition (CND) waste sorting line, or the system can be delivered as a strong standalone solution. The system’s sensors detect the wanted materials from the feed. A regular industrial robotic arm separates the fractions. With ZenRobotics Recycler the operator reaps considerable savings in disposal fees while profiting from the sale of the picked, high-purity fractions, eg inert, wood and both magnetic and non-magnetic metals.

Q: Where would it ideally be used?

Currently it only sorts CND waste as the robot’s strength and resilience are most obvious with such heavy and dangerous waste. In the future the system will be adaptable to most solid waste types.

Q: How is it different?

You don’t get much more unique than artificial intelligence-controlled recycling robots. The system offers staggeringly low operating costs and it can be software-updated to recognise and handle a far wider range of materials than humans (think reliably separating various plastics, or sorting radioactive or other hazmat waste).

Q: What benefits does it offer?  

Manual picking of usable fractions from waste is not optimal. The working conditions are rough and compared to robots, we humans are weak, inattentive and expensive. ZenRobotics Recycler makes it possible to run a multiple-shift operation with relatively low energy consumption, noise levels, and particulate emissions.

Q: Where it has been used?

The first customer installation is currently used by SITA Finland, a subsidiary of Suez Environnement.

Q: Cost?

Depending on the suitability of the existing infrastructure (preprocessing, conveyor, chutes, containers) the system cost is in the range of €1m.

Q: Any savings?

Compared to traditional methods for sorting construction and demolition waste, ZenRobotics Recycler offers considerable savings in terms of personnel, operating and disposal costs.  Currently the system’s estimated payback time is less than two years.

Q: What about maintenance?

The modular components like grippers are easily replaced when worn. ZenRobotics offers an international support and maintenance service through local partners. Also remote servicing and maintenance operations are possible.

Q: What is its life span?

Current estimates put the life span of ZenRobotics Recycler at more than 10 years.

Q: How is it future-proofed?

ZenRobotics Recycler is inherently future-proof. The system is generic and software-updatable and ZenRobotics may offer upgrades to other fractions and waste types in the future..

Q: Anything else?

ZenRobotics is a specialist artificial intelligence and robotics recycling company based in Helsinki, Finland. One third of our staff of 25 are proven geniuses with the PhDs to prove it.

Answers supplied by ZenRobotics. To contact them email:


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