ZenRobotics Waste Recycling

Coming Soon: Intelligent Recycling Robots - Jennifer Hicks - Dante's Soma - Forbes

ZenRobotics believes they have the answer to solving the CND waste problem with their intelligent industrial robots. A robotic recycling system powered by AI that can not only sort the waste, but it can tell the difference between what can be recycled/reused and what can’t be recycled.

 First, they don’t actually make the robots. They make the AI that goes in the robots. Second, their AI brain is so smart it identifies, sorts and separates raw material from waste from the shape of that waste. This is their special sauce.

 This 1.44 minute video shows you how serious Zen Robotics is about waste and their intelligent robots.

ZenRobotics :: Company

ZenRobotics Ltd., founded in 2007, is a Finnish high-tech company specializing in robotic recycling technology. The company's main product is ZenRobotics Recycler, a waste sorting system which separates raw materials from waste.

ZenRobotics Recycler will revolutionize the way recycling works – and help solve the global waste crisis that is getting out of hand.
ZenRobotics Ltd. is an expert in:
  • advanced AI robotics and sensor fusion
  • recycling technology

Collected from: ZenRobotics :: Company

ZenRobotics :: Product

ZenRobotics Recycler is a robotic waste sorting system. Built with off the shelf industrial robotics components, the system utilizes machine learning to separate raw materials from waste. ZenRobotics Recycler is designed for commercial and industrial (C&I) waste, municipal solid waste (MSW), and construction (CND) waste.

ZenRobotics Recycler uses multiple sensor inputs to identify items and raw materials. Possible sensors include Visible spectrum cameras, NIR, 3D laser scanners, haptic sensors, transillumination etc. Thanks to the sensors, a diverse and accurate analysis of waste is possible for the first time.

Unlike any other sorting method, ZenRobotics Recycler can perform multiple simultaneous sorting tasks; reclaim various raw materials and remove contaminants from the main stream. For example, contaminant removal may include the separation of unwanted materials like electronics, PVC, and minerals from the resulting burnable fraction.

Collected from: ZenRobotics :: Product

ZenRonotics develops biologically-inspired, machine learning software which can be used to operate standard industrial robots and train them to separate multiple raw materials from waste. A plethora of sensors like visible spectrum cameras, near infrared cameras, 3D laser scanners, X-rays, metal detectors and weight detectors can be used to recognise materials of different types. ZenRobotics also uses sensors like 3D scanners and touch sensors to improve the robot’s gripper.

Software which learns is rarely 100 percent accurate at performing the task it is trained to do. The false positive and false positive rates are therefore important measures of the effectiveness of a machine learning algorithm. In this case, those measures translate into the rate at which materials are mis-identified or not reycled when they should be. ZenRobotic’s CEO Jaakko Sarela declined to give exact figures but said that the “accuracy is very high. In the end of the day, the purity rate of the recycled material depends mostly on the customer needs.”

ZenRobotics states that by using its robots, users could get more cash for recyclables, reduce landfill tipping fees, lower their operating costs, and reduce the risk to human employees who would otherwise be doing the sorting themselves. They also foresee a day when a smaller version could be used for sorting household waste.


World's only Jumping Cockroach

Table Mountain Leaproach Hits Top-10 List

The World's only known jumping cockroach, discovered in the Table Mountain National Park by Prof. Mike Picker (University of Cape Town) and Dr. Jonathan Colville (Applied Biodiversity Research Division, SANBI) has just leapt into the Top 10 New Species for 2011! The list is compiled by the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University in the US and highlights the most exciting species described taxonomically in 2010.

Top 10 New Species

'Leaproach', as Picker and Colville have named it, was described in 2010 and given the name Saltoblattella montistabularis, which loosely translates to "small jumping cockroach from Table Mountain". It joins on the Top 10 list a leech with enormous teeth, an iron-oxide consuming bacterium discovered on a rusticle from the RMS Titanic, a flat-as-a-pancake batfish that appears to hop along the ocean floor, and a six-foot-long fruit-eating lizard.

Top 10 - 2011 | International Institute for Species Exploration

Name: Saltoblattella montistabularis

Common Name:  Leaproach

Family:  Blattellidae

How it made the Top 10:  This new species of cockroach exhibits unusual morphology.  It has legs that are highly modified for jumping. Prior to its discovery jumping cockroaches were only known from the Late Jurassic. This extant cockroach has jumping ability that is on par with grasshoppers. In addition to the leg modifications, it has hemispherical shaped eyes that protrude from the sides of the head instead of kidney shaped and the antennae have an additional fixation point to help stabilize them during jumping.

UCT's Prof Mike Picker and Dr Jonathan
Colville show off their discovery.
(Images: UCT)

Unique creature

Speaking of their latest find, Picker said: “We were sweep netting and saw something that at first looked like a grasshopper, but when we got it back to the laboratory it became clear it was a cockroach, closely related to the common roach but with sophisticated hind legs and the ability to jump many times its own height.”

The leaproach measures a modest centimetre in length, and looks like a cross between a cockroach, a cricket and a grasshopper. Its Latin name is derived from Saltoblattella which means jumping small cockroach, while montistabularis refers to the place it was discovered.

Colville said: “Superficially it resembled a cricket, but not quite.”
The leaproach shares certain features with grasshoppers - large muscular hind legs for jumping; bulging eyes; toes that allow them to grip before and after jumping; and a strengthened antennae base which supports the delicate appendages during jumping.


The Gömböc

Gömböc - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A gömböc (pronounced [ˈɡømbøts] in Hungarian, sometimes spelled gomboc and pronounced GOM-bock in English) is a convex three-dimensional homogeneous body which, when resting on a flat surface, has just one stable and one unstable point of equilibrium. Its existence was conjectured by Russian mathematician Vladimir Arnold in 1995 and proven in 2006 by Hungarian scientists Gábor Domokos and Péter Várkonyi. The gömböc shape is not unique; it has countless varieties, most of which are very close to a sphere and all have very strict shape tolerance (about 0.1 mm per 10 cm). The most famous solution has a sharpened top and is shown on the right. Its shape helped to explain the body structure of some turtles in relation to their ability to return to equilibrium position after being placed upside down.[1][2][3][4]

The Living Gömböc | Natural History Magazine

Illustrating the difference between an unstable and a stable equilibrium, a plywood triangle (top), regarded as a two-dimensional object, may balance precariously on one of its three points or come to rest on one of its three long sides. Similarly, a rod with both ends sliced off at oblique angles (middle) teeters on its short side—as it would if stood on either pointed end—but finds stability on its long side. Designed by mathematicians, the Gömböc (bottom) never rests for long on any point except its one and only stable surface.
Illustration by Joe Sharkey

Resembling the Gömböc, the shape of its shell gives an Indian star tortoise only one stable configuration: on its feet!
Illustration by Joe Sharkey

The Singing Ringing Tree

Burnley's Panopticon - Singing Ringing Tree

At Crown Point high above the town stands Burnley’s exciting new panopticon the ‘Singing-Ringing Tree’ – a unique musical sculpture in the form of a tree bending against the wind, designed by award-winning architects Tonkin-Liu. As the wind blows it produces a low and mellow hum through pipes which are tuned so that they do not disturb the wildlife.

Singing Ringing Tree (Panopticons) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Singing Ringing Tree is a wind powered sound sculpturetree set in the landscape of the Pennine mountain range overlooking Burnley, in Lancashire.


Designed by architects Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu of Tonkin Liu, the Singing Ringing Tree is a 3 metre tall construction comprising pipes of galvanised steel which harness the energy of the wind to produce a slightly discordant and penetrating choral sound covering a range of several octaves. Some of the pipes are primarily structural and aesthetic elements, while others have been cut across their width enabling the sound. The harmonic and singing qualities of the tree were produced by tuning the pipes according to their length by adding holes to the underside of each.