How does robotic recycling with ZRR work?

ZenRobotics Recycler relies on the unique combination of our own smart software and standard industrial robots. Various sensors continuously monitor the waste stream. Smart and self-learning software, which we call ZenRobotics Brain, analyzes the sensor data in real-time. High-grade, durable industrial robots pick waste fractions of various shapes and sizes quickly and accurately.

How to recycle with robots?

Getting started with robotic recycling is easy. Once you have selected the installation type and throughput capacity that best fit your needs, you are ready to go. Robots operate nearly autonomously in multiple shifts.

See the image below for an step-by-step explanation on how the ZenRobotics Recycler processes waste.



  1. ZRR Sensor unit continuously scans the waste stream.
  2. ZenRobotics Brain control software analyses the data in real-time and controls the robots.
  3. The control software identifies individual materials, objects and gripping points from the waste streams.
  4. ZenRobotics Smart Gripper picks up the desired objects and throws them in the right chute.
  5. Robots can sort multiple fractions in one spot and adjust their work as needed.

Sensor Fusion

ZenRobotics Recycler combines sensory data from multiple sensors to create an accurate real-time analysis of the waste stream. Based on this analysis, the system makes autonomous decisions on what objects to pick and how.

ZenRobotics Recycler sensors

  • NIR – near infrared spectrum sensors
  • 3D sensor system
  • Hi-res RGB camera
  • Imaging metal detector
  • VIS – visual light spectrum sensor

You decide what gets sorted

ZRR typically sorts metals, different grades of wood or minerals, rigid plastics and cardboard. However, you can also train ZRR to sort specific objects or new waste fractions.

Training works by simply showing ZRR samples of objects that you want to sort.

Smart control and reporting tools

ZenRobotics Recycler comes equipped with easy-to-use controls that allow you to easily change the sorting task. You can select between different operation modes, such as maximizing the throughput or minimizing reject, or even let ZRR decide the most profitable mode for you.

You can also access ZRR performance reports online, anytime and anywhere. The reports are remotely accessible with a PC, tablet or smartphone.