Industrial Robotics

  • Developing an Intelligent Waste Sorting System with Robotic Arm: A Step towards Green Environment
    IEEE International Conference on Innovation in Engineering and Technology, December 2018
    Product: Waste Sorting Robot
    Environmental Impact: Increase efficiency during the waste sorting process
    Planetary Boundary: N/A
    Keywords: Robotic waste sorting; Waste management system; Waste categorization; Chemical pollution; Industrial robotics; Preventive solution
    Description: Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can be used to improve waste management and sorting, with preliminary results of an experiment in Bangladesh yielding an 82% accuracy rate in categorizing and sorting 11 objects of separate types and sizes.

  • Aspects Concerning the Optimal Development of Robotic Systems Architecture for Waste Sorting Tasks
    IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 2018
    Product: Waste Sorting Robot
    Environmental Impact: Help streamline waste sorting processes 
    Planetary Boundary: N/A
    Keywords: Autonomous machine vision-based system, Robotic waste sorting, Chemical pollution, Industrial robotics, Preventive solution
    Description: Robotics combined with advanced recognition software is expected to significantly increase the sorting efficiency of some waste streams and replace or complement the labor in manual sorting. This paper discusses the optimal performance criteria of these robotic systems and findings based on an optimization algorithm for the best system architecture.

  • Robotic Pick-and-Toss Facilitates Urban Waste Sorting
    IEEE 16th International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE), August 2020
    Product: Waste Sorting Robot
    Environmental Impact: Increases the efficiency of waste sorting
    Planetary Boundary: N/A
    Keywords: Waste handling; Waste management system; Waste Sorting; Pick-and-place process; Pick-and-toss approach; Chemical pollution; Industrial robotics; Preventive solution
    Description: Delta robots, or “pick and toss” robots may be able to replace the traditional “pick and place” robots that are currently used with waste sorting. This study compared the two sorting methods in both simulation and reality using an ABB-IRB360 Delta robot and found that the Delta robot sorted items more quickly than the pick-and-place system. 

Aerial Robotics

  • Atmospheric Air Pollution Monitoring using Flying Robots
    IOE Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, October 2020
    Product: Air Quality Recording Drone
    Environmental Impact: Detects and records pollutants in the air
    Planetary Boundary: Atmospheric Particle Pollution
    Keywords: Flying robotic equipment; Mobile gas analyzers; Atmospheric Particle Pollution; UAV; Drone; Responsive solution.
    Description: The study conducted and described in this report focuses on detecting air pollution with a given accuracy using a mobile instrument platform (MIP) with an onboard gas analyzer. In the end, the paper proposes an algorithm for determining the coordinates of a CO concentration source using the MIP.

  • Autonomous Monitoring, Analysis, and Countering of Air Pollution using Environmental Drones
    Heliyon Journal, January 2020
    Product: Pollution Measuring Drone
    Environmental Impact: Measures pollution concentration in the atmosphere 
    Planetary Boundary: Atmospheric Particle Pollution
    Keywords: Automatic air pollution monitoring, and measurement, Pollution abatement, Air quality health index, Atmospheric Particle Pollution, Aerial robotics, UAV, Drone, Preventive solution, Responsive solution
    Description: This paper investigates large-scale air pollution elimination; Environmental Drones (or E-drones) can autonomously monitor the air quality of a specified location. If they detect that there are pollutants above the recommended threshold, the E-drones then implement “on-board pollution abatement solutions” for those pollutants.

  • Using UAV-Based Systems to Monitor Air Pollution in Areas with Poor Accessibility
    Journal of Advanced Transportation, August 2017
    Product: Pollution Measuring Drone
    Environmental Impact: Monitors levels of atmospheric particle pollution 
    Planetary Boundary: Atmospheric Particle Pollution
    Keywords: Automatic air pollution monitoring, and measurement, Air pollution detection, Atmospheric particle pollution, Aerial robotics, UAV, Drone; Preventive solution
    Description: Proposes an algorithm to autonomously guide UAVs equipped with off-the-shelf sensors to perform air pollution monitoring tasks. The results of this research demonstrate that the algorithm drives the UAV to construct pollution maps focusing on areas where there is a higher concentration of pollutants, making the creation of these maps faster than similar strategies.

Marine Robotics

  • Robotic Detection of Marine Litter Using Deep Visual Detection Models
    IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May 2019
    Product: Oceanic Trash Collecting Robot 
    Environmental Impact: Reducing oceanic trach 
    Planetary Boundary: Freshwater Use
    Keywords: Marine litter, Underwater trash removal, robotic detection, AUV, Freshwater Use, Marine Robotics, Preventive Solution
    Description: Using autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to locate and remove marine trash may reduce oceanic pollution. This paper evaluates deep-learning algorithms put to the task of detecting trash in underwater environments. The paper provides insights into approaches for future trash removal AUVs.

  • Robotic Environmental DNA Bio-Surveillance of Freshwater Health
    Scientific Report Journal
    , September 2020
    Product: Water Sampling Robot
    Environmental Impact: Monitoring the levels of biochemicals in the water 
    Planetary Boundary: Ocean Acidification, Freshwater Use 
    Keywords: Ocean monitoring, Marine environment, Oceanic data collection, Water samples, Freshwater Use, Marine Robotics, Autonomous underwater vehicle, Preventive solution
    Description: Autonomous water sampling technologies could help to monitor biological threats to freshwater ecosystems as well as filter and preserve the captured material once identified. Originally adapted from a marine environmental sample processor (ESP), this experiment found that this device was as effective as manual sampling methods.

  • Row-bot: An energetically autonomous artificial water boatman
    IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), December 2015
    Product: Marine Robot 
    Environmental Impact: Reduce carbon emissions 
    Planetary Boundary: Climate Change 
    Keywords: Biomimetics, Marine Control, Microbial fuel cells, Bio-inspired actuation, MFC-powered swimming robot, Water boatman beetle, Ocean cleaning, Ocean acidification, Freshwater Use, Marine Robotics
    Description: This research paper presents a design for an energetically autonomous artificial organism that demonstrates the anabolic, propulsive, and feeding mechanisms of an artificial, water boatman-inspired organism marine robot. The work is the demonstration of energetically autonomy in a microbial fuel cell (MFC)-powered, swimming robot taking energy from its surrounding aqueous environment.  The energy generated has been shown to exceed the energy required to refuel. Biomimicry of the water boatman beetle has driven key design features resulting in system optimization including morphology to suit the drag profile required for power and recovery propulsion phases and combined floatation and oxygen supply. 

  • The Starfish Terminator
    The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, October 2018
    Product: Underwater Animal Capturing Robot 
    Environmental Impact: Reduces the number of Crown-Of-Thorn Starfish in the Great Barrier Reef
    Planetary Boundary: Biodiversity Loss 
    Keywords: Marine disasters, Coral reef, Crown-of-thrones starfish, Biodiversity loss, Marine robotics, Autonomous underwater vehicle, Responsive solution
    Description: COTS is instead an autonomous underwater robot equipped with artificial intelligence software, built by Matthew Dunbabin and Feras Dayoub, who study and build autonomous systems at the Institute for Future Environments at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. Dunbabin and Dayoub built it to help fight one of the biggest marine disasters in progress—an outbreak of crown-of-thorns starfish, the voracious coral-eating organisms that are decimating the Great Barrier Reef faster than it can rebuild itself.

Ground Robotics

  • ­A Farmer-Assistant Robot for Nitrogen Fertilizing Management of Greenhouse Crops
    Computers and Electronics in Agriculture Journal, June 2017
    Product: Nitrogen Fertilization Robot
    Environmental Impact: Improve nitrogen fertilization efficiency in greenhouse crops
    Planetary Boundary: Biochemical Flows 
    Keywords: Autonomous machine vision-based system, Nitrogen fertilizing management, Image processing, Image textural features, Biochemical flows, Chemical pollution, Ground robotics, Preventive solution
    Description: This autonomous robotic system was developed for precise nitrogen fertilization for greenhouse crops (e.g. tomatoes, lettuce, peppers). The system was tested using a machine vision-based scenario and was found to be able to decrease the crops’ nitrogen fertilizer consumption by about 18%.

  • Automated Robotic Assay of Phosphomonoesterase Activity in Soils
    Soil Science Society of America Journal, 01 March 2006
    Product: Automated Testing Robot
    Environmental Impact: Monitoring and recording chemicals within the soil
    Planetary Boundary: Biochemical Flows
    Keywords: Zymark XP laboratory robotic system, Phosphomonoesterase measurement, Biochemical Flows, Ground robotics, Preventive solution
    Description: This study found that using a robotic system for measuring phosphomonoesterase activity in soils differing in physical and chemical characteristics was comparable in both accuracy and precision to manual procedures, yet the robotic system resulted in considerable savings in cost and labor.

  • Reducing Air Pollution with hybrid-powered Robotic Tractors for Precision Agriculture
    Biosystems Engineering Journal
    , March 2016
    Product: Farming Assistant Robot
    Environmental Impact: Reduces carbon emissions from the farming process 
    Planetary Boundary: Climate Change 
    Keywords: Robotic tractor, Precision agriculture, Atmospheric emission, Atmospheric air pollution, Ground robotics, Preventive solution
    Description: The emissions from robotic tractors with a hybrid energy system for precision weed and pest control were compared with those from tractors with a combustion engine as a single power source. The hybrid energy system was designed by adapting the original energy systems of the tractors to reduce atmospheric pollution emissions. The results of the study found that the hybrid system reduced emissions by 50% in the best case.

  • Vision-Based Robotic System for On-Site Construction and Demolition Waste Sorting and Recycling
    Journal of Building Engineering, August 2020
    Product: Waste Sorting Robot 
    Environmental Impact: Makes the recycling process more efficient 
    Planetary Boundary: N/A

    Keywords: Construction, and demolition waste (CDW), CDW management, CDW recycling, Waste Sorting, Soil pollution, landfills, Autonomous mobile robots, Ground robotics
    Description: Prototype pick-and-place system for sorting irregular construction and demolition waste (CDW) using “instance segmentation on uneven surfaces” and SLAM. This is a new solution for picking and sorting CDW, and it was proven to be effective and efficient through practical experiments.