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Sorting Recyclable Waste by Robotic Touch!

During testing, RoCycle demonstrated 85% accuracy when identifying and sorting the three materials from a fixed position. Accuracy decreased to 63% when RoCycle collected items from a moving conveyor belt. Material type can be very difficult to distinguish optically, and is more easily identified tactilely. “Computer vision alone will not be able to solve the problem of giving machines human-like perception, so being able to use tactile input is of vital importance,” MIT professor Daniela Rus said. The research will be presented later this month at the IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics in Seoul, South Korea. To contact the author of this article, email
Story and images courtesy of Marie Donlon, and MIT and Yale universities, courtesy of Engineering360, IEEE Global Spec