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Recycleye Robotics now “nose” what to pick 

1st April 2023

Have you ever wondered what the next evolution of waste sorting technology might be?

Robot smelling pizza

As we are very pleased to share a new product feature, developed just in time for Spring.  Our expert engineers have expanded our AI powered waste picking solutions with a new set of proprietary data that means our robotics solution is not only able to see waste, but also to smell it, using a special sensor located in the gripper.  Initial applications are expected to be the ability to detect the difference between food and non-food packaging, which of course usually smells either of food or chemicals.

Recycleye has already revolutionised waste sorting with the application of computer vision, using a unique database of images developed over several years by the expert team, which counts over 1 million images. This database has now been expanded to contain new data which enables the robot to sense the item using olfactory capabilities, meaning that it can “smell” the item in addition to seeing it using the Recycleye Vision system. The ground-breaking application of odour to detect and sort materials for recycling analyses particles present in the air emitted by the material, which the new sensor compares to the Recycleye database, known as Loofs 1.4.

Currently, waste sorting plants, or MRFs aim to sort packing that has been used for food or non-food use.  This is because materials that have come into contact with chemicals or other substances that could be harmful to human health cannot be recycled for use in food packaging.  This means that plastics destined for recycling must be carefully identified and sorted to very high levels of purity.

We believe this new feature will really help to support plastic recycling, as our ML engineer, Avril Furste explains:

 “Recycling rates are not improving, especially in the UK.  As we start April, I am very pleased to share some details of the product development we have been working on as I believe it will help to ensure more plastic waste can be accurately sorted and then sent for recycling”.

So on this 1st April, don’t be a fool if you’re looking to sort more plastic.  Just get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help you sniff out opportunities to improve sorting in your MRF.


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