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ERF 23 Workshop on Robotics and AI for Sustainable Recycling and Remanufacturing

Updated: May 24, 2023

Can robotics and AI revolutionise waste management and increase sustainable production? The industrial landscape is radically transforming. Businesses focus now not only on increasing productivity but also ensuring that their operations meet sustainability goals and are adaptable to rapid changes in the supply chain. This requires the industry to rethink how materials and resources are used and how created products can be recycled, reused, and remanufactured. Creating commercial justification for these processes, traditionally – dull, dirty, dangerous, and manual labour intense was never easy. ​​Robots can increase the value of recycling by faster and more accurate waste sorting (and thereby reduce waste volume in landfills).

What other challenges can be solved by Robotics & AI technologies to support recycling and remanufacturing?
And what are the barriers to adopting Robotics & AI for sustainable recycling?
How can the robotics community contribute to solving these challenges?

Expected Outcome

Trigger information exchange between academia and industry (end users) about the current challenges and possible solutions for sustainable recycling and remanufacturing with application of robots

A position paper on the results of the workshop and share it, e.g., with the respective topic group/s (TG sustainability) e.g. a white paper

Approach and Agenda

The workshop is conducted as a two-part approach, ~40 minutes each First, five keynote speakers will be invited, from both academic research and industry, to share their perspective in an 8-10 minute impulse talk This is followed by a panel discussion and interaction with the audience session.

00:00 – 00:03 Opening comments by the organisers

00:03 – 00:45 5 Impulse talks

00:50 – 01:15 Panel discussion + questions by audience

01:15 – 01:20 Concluding remarks by the organisers

Questions to be discussed:

What challenges can be solved by Robotics & AI in recycling and remanufacturing?

What are the barriers to adopting Robotics & AI for sustainable recycling? And how could they be solved?

Are we doing enough to recover and reuse materials coming out of industrial supply chains? If not, how could this be changed?

Confirmed Speakers

  • Josie Götz – Manufacturing Technology Centre

  • Sina Pour Soltani and Ann-Mia Ambjerg, ARIS Robotics

  • Damien Salle, Tecnalia

  • Hendrik Kolvenbach, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

  • Alireza Rastegarpanah, University of Birmingham


  • Sharath Chandra Akkaladevi, Profactor GmbH

  • Franziska Kirstein, Blue Ocean Robotics

  • Karol Janik, Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC)

  • Josie Gotz, Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC)

Event Timeslot

13:55 - 15:15

14 March - Sustainability

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