United States – What do cups, lids and beverage sleeves have in common? They are very often landfilled, according to CleanRobotics. But it doesn’t have to be that way, claims the US start-up company launched in 2015.
Enter TrashBot, the ‘intelligent’ sorting robot that sorts recyclables using CleanRobotics’ special software. ‘Data from TrashBot’s first pilot at a technology company in Pittsburgh showed results of 81% sorting accuracy after only very basic training,’ the company notes.
By combining next-generation robotics, advanced sensor technology and the Cloud, TrashBot effectively categorises materials and keeps track of the waste volume in the bin. Also, it can be wirelessly updated if there is a change in a community’s recycling programme. Furthermore, TrashBot’s sorting accuracy is designed to improve over time as it learns to detect different types of material.
‘From corporate workplaces to stadiums and ball parks to universities, schools, airports, grocery stores, restaurants, malls and even airplanes – the practical applications for TrashBot are endless,’ says CleanRobotics. The sorting system could even allow communities to begin utilising multi-stream recycling instead of single-stream, it believes.
CleanRobotics has been accepted into HAX, a world-renowned hardware accelerator in China where the firm built its first prototype and subsequently conducted a successful TrashBot pilot. A crew of engineers is currently redesigning TrashBot to be ‘better, faster and more robust’.