Flexiv Celebrates Earth Day by Showcasing a Fully Automated Recycling Robot

Flexiv revolutionizes recycling for Earth Day 2024 by showcasing its latest innovation, an automated recycling station.

SAN JOSE, CA, April 22nd, 2024 - Flexiv, a global leader in general-purpose robotics solutions, is pleased to announce the successful development of its latest innovation, an automated recycling station.

Coinciding with Earth Day 2024, Flexiv's recycling solution uses a combination of the Grav Enhanced Gecko Gripper, a Rizon 4 Adaptive Robot, and a 3D depth camera to automatically identify and then sort household waste into multiple categories.

Currently, the application can differentiate between glass, plastics, and what it classes as ‘other' materials. This classification process leverages computer vision for initial identification, followed by a 'squeeze test' with the robot's gripper for verification when classification certainty is low.

Flexiv has high hopes that with future refinements, Rizon will be able to accurately differentiate between plastics, metals, glass, waste paper, and textiles, and then be installed into locations where mixed refuse is a common problem.

"Not only is Flexiv working hard to reduce its environmental footprint, but we're also working to provide the world with a viable automatic recycling solution," said Hao Jiang, Flexiv's Director of Product Development. "We don't envision a Rizon robot in every house sorting out the trash, at least not yet, but we do think that this type of application would be perfect for shopping centers, hotels, movie theatres, and places where the public often don't have the time or inclination to sort waste themselves."

Howard Huang, Flexiv's North American Business Director added, "Our journey towards sustainability is powered by innovation, creativity, and commitment. The development of our automated recycling station is a testament to Flexiv's dedication to making a difference. We envision a world where technology and responsibility go hand in hand, paving the way for a more sustainable future."

Building on Flexiv's proprietary AnyGrasp algorithm, Rizon is able to pick up practically any object in any orientation without pre-programming. This ability to deal with the random nature of objects served as an ideal base on which Flexiv could build its recycling application. When coupled with the recently released Grav Enhanced Gripper capable of picking up almost any item weighing up to 5kg and the new to market Grav Enhanced Automated Cleaning Station, creating a recycling application with Rizon was a natural progression that was able to make use of Flexiv's existing product range and capabilities.

As part of the Earth Day celebrations, Flexiv is demonstrating its commitment to sustainability by asking their global team to actively participate in energy watch campaigns, and by requesting employees to avoid all disposable plastic items where possible when at work. This initiative includes replacing single-use plastics with sustainable alternatives, promoting the use of reusable water bottles, cups, and cutlery, and organizing educational sessions about the impact of plastic pollution on our planet.

Highlighting the importance of reducing our reliance on plastics, Kathleen Rogers, President of EARTHDAY.ORG, stated, "The word environment means what surrounds you. In the case of plastics, we have become the product itself - it flows through our bloodstream, adheres to our internal organs, and carries with it heavy metals known to cause cancer and disease. Now this once-thought amazing and useful product has become something else, and our health and that of all other living creatures hangs in the balance."

About ​Flexiv
Flexiv is a world-leading general-purpose robotics company dedicated to developing and manufacturing adaptive robots. With expertise in integrating industrial-grade force control, computer vision, and AI technologies, Flexiv delivers advanced turn-key automation solutions that enhance efficiency while reducing operational costs and environmental impact. Founded in 2016, Flexiv has established offices in Silicon Valley, Shanghai, Beijing, Taiwan, and Singapore.

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