The advantages of mechanical labour in sorting recyclables are obvious: the robot does not get tired, works faster and will not develop any health problems due to hazardous work. Moreover, this activity is very monotonous and therefore doubly tiring.
The recycling robot called RoCycle was created by the researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Its AI devices can identify the recyclables’ materials to the touch. The recycler features manipulators with special sensors that recognise whether the robot is holding plastic, metal, or paper, and the strength of the waste. After these factors are determined, the waste goes to the appropriate bin.
The robot is made of stretchable materials called auxetics. It is best able to handle stationary waste. It can also sort waste moving along the conveyor belt, but in such case it is less likely to successfully grasp recyclables. The developers are currently working to fix this problem.