FEIT Research Project Database

Smart AI enabled robotic technologies for plastic waste sorting

Project Leader: Shanaka Kristombu Baduge
Staff: Eric Schoof, Priyan Mendis
Collaborators: Advanced Circular Polymers
Sponsors: Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources, CRC-Projects Round 10
Primary Contact: Kasun Shanaka Kristombu Baduge (kasun.kristombu@unimelb.edu.au)
Keywords: artificial intelligence; computer vision; robotics
Disciplines: Electrical & Electronic Engineering,Infrastructure Engineering,Mechanical Engineering

Since many foreign countries have restricted the importing of waste, the Australian Government has set a target to ban the export of waste by 2021 and achieve a 80% resource recovery rate by 2030.  However, the generation of substantial amount of no-value plastic residue in recycling plants due to inefficient sorting systems results in unprofitable landfill cost while reducing the overall plant material recovery rate and profitability.

This project is aimed at developing an AI-enabled robotic system to sort the plastic waste based on the polymer type. Successful candidates will have a very good exposure to an industry oriented project with an opportunity to build skills in Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning, Robotic Systems, Sustainability and Circular Economy.

The project is a collaboration with the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and School of Computing and Information Systems.