Adaptive Robotics for Recycling of Electronic Devices

Workshop at European Robotics Forum 2024

Place, date & time:

Rimini, Italy, March 14, 16:30 – 17:50

Workshop organisers:

Aleš Ude (Jožef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana), Florentin Wörgötter (University of Göttingen), Justus Piater (University of Innsbruck)

Supported by ReconCycle project

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.

The main issues to be addressed:

  • 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?
  • What kind of robot learning is needed for the automated recycling of electronic devices?
  • What kind of robot vision is needed for the automated recycling of electronic devices?

Workshop programme:

  • Aleš Ude (Jožef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana): Introduction to the workshop
  • Justus Piater (University of Innsbruck):  The IMAGINE Project: Robot Intuition and Understanding for Disassembly
  • Manuel Catalano (Italian Institute of Technology, Genoa): Soft Robotic Technologies for disassembly and recycling of electronic waste
  • Mihael Simonič (Jožef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana): Efficient automation of e-waste recycling: Reconfigurable Robotic Workcells and Policy Adjustments
  • Sebastian Ruiz (University of Göttingen): Computer Vision Methods for Robotic Disassembly of Electronic Devices
  • Panel discussion: Hannes Fröhlich (Electrocycling, Goslar), Justus Piater, Manuel Catalano, Tamim Asfour (KIT, Karlsruhe)