Policy / Systems / Technology

August 27, 2010


World's First Plastic-Sorting Robot Recognizes Six Types of Plastic

Keywords: Environmental Technology Manufacturing industry Reduce / Reuse / Recycle 

JFS/World's First Plastic-Sorting Robot Recognizes Six Types of Plastic

Japanese control instrument manufacturer IDEC Corp., Mitsubishi Electric Engineering Corp., and Osaka University announced on February 10, 2010, that they have successfully developed the world's first plastic sorting machine, which employs a robot to separate different types of plastic. The companies began demonstration testing of the robot at Nara Co-op and Osaka University Co-op, two consumers' cooperatives in Japan's Kansai region.

At present, various organizations in Japan such as municipalities, co-ops, supermarkets, and schools are involved in the effort to collect resources for recycling. The collection of plastic resources, however, has been limited to the one or two types that are discernible to the human eye, so not all plastics that can be recycled are recovered. This unsorted recyclable plastic waste is usually just incinerated.

The robots used in this initiative are equipped with laser diode sensors that function as "eyes" to differentiate between six types of plastic. Their performance was tested in urban areas and at the university co-op.

IDEC Corp. official website

Posted: 2010/08/27 06:00:15 AM