In April of this year, NAWMA introduced a new ‘staff member’ to its Material Recovery Facility (MRF) sort line. MAX-AI-AQC is an autonomous quality control robot that uses artificial intelligence to identify and recover plastics and fibre.
Working alongside MRF staff, the robot enhances the recovery of reusable materials in readiness for secondary reprocessing. Through ‘deep learning technology’ it employs both multi-layered neural networks and a vision system to identify and see objects in a similar way that humans do. It has the capability to pick 60 units per minute.
Partial funding for the robot was secured through a $500,000 grant from Green Industries SA’s Infrastructure Investment Grants in February 2019. Current estimates based on the robot’s performance to date, indicate that it should be able to recover around 1,200 tonnes of recyclables per annum, which would have otherwise been lost to landfill.