Fanuc partners with Recycleye to automate recycling industry

Robotics manufacturer Fanuc is breaking into the waste management industry by partnering with intelligent waste management start-up Recycleye.

Over the past 12 the months, Recycleye has combined its validated AI computer vision technology with Fanuc’s experience in automation, to deploy and scale Recycleye Robotics, an AI-powered robotic waste-picking system.

To date, the limited availability of scalable recognition technologies has pushed the waste management industry towards a reliance on manual waste pickers to identify and extract high value materials. However, in recent years, the economic efficiency of manual sorting has been challenged due to increased stringency in international quality standards on the purity of imported recycled waste. As such, the demand for an affordable automated sorting solution to ensure purity standards are met, is rising. Together, FANUC and Recycleye have addressed that demand to deliver intelligent automation to the industry.

Recycleye Robotics performs the physical tasks of identifying, picking and placing material, at a rate of 55 successful picks per minute. The novel solution automates current manual operations and enables facilities to double their total throughput. Fanuc’s team of expert automation engineers designed Recycleye Robotics to weigh 75 percent less than any existing robotic waste picker currently in the market. The plug-and-play installation eliminates traditional expensive retrofit costs.

Recycleye Robotics is powered by Recycleye Vision, an AI vision system, which has been deployed across the UK and French markets, exceeding human vision in identifying and classifying all items on waste streams – by material, object and even brand. Recycleye Vision works to constantly train and learn new object detection, enabling for the robotic waste picking system to adapt to changing waste composition without any need for manual upgrades.

The modular robotic picking system has already been deployed at two UK material recovery facilities, on multiple plastic and paper sorting lines, and deployments in France are scheduled for later this year. Having installed over 700,000 robots worldwide in different markets, Fanuc will utilise their expertise to help lead the global rollout of the Recycleye robotic pickers. Recycleye and Fanuc’s intelligent robotic system is creating a new wave of intelligent and affordable automation in the waste management industry.

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