Robotnik explain their contribution to HR-Recycler project.
HR-Recycler is a multidisciplinary project aiming to improve the recycling capabilities of european countries. More specifically, it is targeted at integrating tight Human-Robot collaboration in the recycling process of WEEE, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment. E-waste is considered the “fastest-growing waste stream in the world” .
WEEE recycling is a time consuming and effort process, due to the variety of the devices to be recycled and the different components and materials they are made of.
One key issue in recycling processes is the routing of raw and disassembled materials and components through the recycling plant. This is a resource consuming process as materials and components are processed in several parts of the factory. In a typical recycling process, unclassified devices arrive at the recycling plant in large trucks. After sorting, each device has to be transported to its recycling station where it is separated into its component parts. Components can be either further separated or be ready to move them to their final destination.
Here is where Robotnik enters into action. Routing materials inside a factory has to be done in an affordable, efficient and safe manner. Moreover, with the advent of the fourth industrial revolution robots have to be able to operate collaboratively with humans sharing the same space.
Affordability is achieved by providing a robot that is able to carry the same baskets as the factory already has, decreasing the number of changes that have to be made in the factory. Efficient is provided by state of the art navigation algorithms, as well as planning algorithms for the overall factory. Collaboration comes through the use of human-aware navigation, but also increasing the communication between the robot and the human about the intentions of the former. Safety is achieved through applying strict measures, sensors and actuators that comply with the latest safety standards
All of this effort is directed by Robotnik towards creating a new robot: RB-Ares.
RB-Ares mission will be to pick and place EURO-pallets at floor level and route them through the factory with the required features of affordability, efficiency, safety and collaboration with humans. To accomplish this mission, RB-Ares is equipped with state-of-the-art actuators and sensors.
RB-Ares is powered by ROS, as well as Robotnik’s proprietary technology for navigation, localization and Human Machine Interface, which allows an easy configuration, programming and integration of the robot in different applications and Fleet Management Systems, as 4.0 industry demands. This is the main feature of Collaborative Mobile Robots as RB-Ares, an intelligent mobile robot that assists humans in a shared workspace and support to the optimizacion of the processes inside industry.
 World Economic Forum. (2019). A New Circular Vision for Electronics: Time for a Global Reboot, (January), 24. Retrieved from