What type of robots do they use in the waste management industry?
Waste management is a very labour intensive industry and it is taking some time for robotics and automation to make an impact.
But, things are beginning to change, and robots are used to carry out key tasks within the waste management industry, including the collection, transport and treatment of waste.
They are used independently and alongside humans to carry out all these tasks.
When it comes to the collection of waste, robots such as the WasteShark are being used to proactively collect waste from waterways. These are designed and used to clear plastics, bio-waste and other debris. And perhaps as importantly, the data from these robots will allow users to closely monitor, in real time, the environment and makeup of the water. This in turn allows organisations to create an accurate picture of the water's DNA over time.
With transport, we stray into the field of automated vehicles, which can be sent out to not only collect waste from on the ground, or bin areas, but can also transport large amounts of waste back to treatment centres.
And it is here, at the treatment centres, where possibly the most impact will be felt over the coming years. Consider the practice of waste separation. Waste has to be rigorously separated if recycling has any chance of working. This is where robots step in to efficiently separate piles of waste, meaning that only the most unworthy of recycling will go to landfill.
Then there's such things as intelligent bins, which will work out for themselves how waste is separated.
One thing's for sure though, robots are playing an increasingly important role within the waste management industry.