Jodone, a company that designs software for robots, has rolled out an interactive pilot program at the Pope/Douglas WTE facility in Alexandria, Minn.
Using Jodone’s software, human operators can monitor waste as it moves along a conveyor belt and sort recyclables via touch screen. The sortable instructions are then sent to a robot, which grabs the recyclables and places them in the correct bin.
This system is estimated to bring in an additional $24 million in revenue for waste facilities, according to Jodone.
MIT Technology Review breaks down the system in more detail:
Sorting waste isn’t fun. Trash can be sticky, stinky, and sharp. The entrepreneurs at Jodone want to turn this mundane task into a human-robot collaborative game to improve efficiency and accuracy.
For Jodone’s new pilot project at the Pope/Douglas waste-to-energy facility in Alexandria, Minnesota, human operators will use its software to monitor waste as it travels along a conveyor belt. Using a touch screen, workers will swipe any recyclables they spot and then select the appropriate category: paper, plastic, tin, etc. Those instructions will be sent wirelessly to robotic arms that will grab the recyclables and drop them in the correct bin. Workers who salvage above-average amounts of recycling will receive additional income.