Why do they use robots in the waste industry?
The waste management industry is one which is emerging from old traditional practices, with manual labour featuring heavily.
And if you think about for a minute what waste is, you’ll see that one of the overriding reasons to have more robotics and automation in the waste industry, is to prevent humans from being exposed to dangerous materials and toxic fumes.
Yes, okay, the argument that such a modernisation of the industry will bring down costs and drive up efficiencies is very valid, but aside from that, to be able to remove human workers from the dangers of waste, is a worthy cause.
Think for a moment what goes into household rubbish and how that debris can represent real dangers to the human body. It can be a very toxic situation. Then think of industrial waste, which needs to be removed from factories and other sites, and you’ll see how robots can benefit humankind in so many ways. Take the dangers presented by asbestos waste for example, which is so toxic to humans, affecting their lungs, that special measures have to be in place to handle it. So much better that robots can take on the role of removing the asbestos waste and transporting it for treatment.
The same with nuclear waste, with is arguably the worse kind of waste that a human has to handle. Make a mistake here and lives can quickly be lost.
So, you can see that worker safety in the waste industry is a compelling reason to have robotics and automation taking on an active role.