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Adaptive robotics for recycling of electronic devices

Track: Sustainability

Date and Time: 14 Mar 2023 16:30-17:50

Organisers: Aleš Ude, Florentin Wörgötter, Justus Piater

Main questions to be answered: Given a large variety of electronic devices with varying degrees of damage, is it possible to automate the removal of hazardous components such as batteries?,

Additional questions: What kind of robot learning is needed for the automated recycling of electronic devices?,

Additional questions 2: What kind of robot vision is needed for the automated recycling of electronic devices?

Workshop Description: Currently electro-recycling is mostly performed following the “crush-and-separate” method, where devices are crushed and split into tiny particles, which are then physio-chemically separated into reusable components. Many times this requires first manual work to remove dangerous components or to disassemble sub-parts that cannot go into the crusher. Clearly, there is a very strong incentive to improve on this and this way increase profitability, efficiency, and positive environmental impact of recycling and, thus, even partial automation of some of these steps can make a big difference. The objective of this workshop is to explore the possibilities of introducing robotics into this process, both from the point of view of current technological capabilities of robots in terms of hardware, vision and learning and from the point of view of recycling line requirements in industrial settings.

Intended Outcome: Workshop on recent developments in technology or applications

Approach: The workshop will start with 5-8 minutes talks. The talks will include presentations by researchers addressing new technological developments in the areas of robotic hardware, vision, and learning and also talks from industrial practitioners discussing the main current issues in industrial recycling lines. The talks will be followed by an interactive panel discussion where active participation of attendees is expected. The objective of the panel discussion will be to identify the promising robotics technologies that need to be introduced to automate the recycling process.

Contributors: dr. Mihael Simonič (Jožef Stefan Institute, Slovenia), confirmed Hannes Fröhlich (Electrocycling, Germany), confirmed dr. Manuel Catalano (Italian Institute of Technolgy, Italy), confirmed prof. dr. Justus Piater (University of Innsbruck, Austria), confirmed Sebastian Ruiz (University of Göttingen, Germany), confirmed