Finnish ZenRobotics Ltd.'s main product, the ZenRobotics Recycler (ZRR), is the first AI-controlled robotic recycling system that reclaims valuable raw materials from construction and demolition waste.
The ZRR is made up of two components: the industrial robot KUKA KR40PA and the ZenRobotics Brain, also called "the system." This robot model can lift up to 40 kg (20 kg net load) payload and is extremely fast. The robot has four position sensors, four servo temperature sensors, and four servo load sensors to help the ZenRobotics Brain get more information about the robot's condition at any given millisecond. The system uses advanced machine learning technology and multiple sensors to create an accurate real-time analysis of the waste stream. Based on the analysis, the system is able to make autonomous decisions on what objects to pick and how. The system is easily upgraded.
Different technologies make the ZenRobotics Recycler interesting:
Artificial intelligence. The ZenRobotics Brain component analyzes the input from a plethora of sensors (currently metal detector, NIR, 3D laser scanner, video feed) using advanced AI algorithms. The extensive use of advanced inspired AI algorithms by the control system makes it possible, for the first time, to operate a robot in an unstructured environment instead of a strictly prescribed one, e.g., in a car factory. Thanks to the ZenRobotics Brain the robot can work based on the sensor inputs instead of following a pre-programmed routine.
Sensor fusion. The ZenRobotics Brain combines data from different sensors, such as weighing, haptic sensors, and NIR imagery; it combines all imagery data, including historical. The ZenRobotics Brain can also apply machine learning to combine data from two different sensors and create a virtual sensor.
Solar power pack. The ZRR uses only about 10 kW of energy and can be run off solar power using 60 to 100 square meters of solar panels.
ZZR Smart Gripper. ZenRobotics has for years developed robotic grippers for this application area. The end result is ZRR Smart Gripper, the first gripper in the world that is designed specifically for construction and demolition (CND) waste.