Hybrid Human-Robot RECYcling plant for electriCal and eLEctRonic equipment

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Funding Organization
European Commission
Funding Programme
Horizon Europe
Funding Instument
Research & Innovation Action
Starting Date
Dec. 1, 2018
Total budget
ITI budget
Scientific responsible
Dr. Petros Daras


The rapid changes in technology along with the lowering of the industrial production cost of electrical and electronic equipment have led to the need for continuous upgrading and replacing the existing equipment and subsequently to the generation of enormous amounts of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). The importance of managing the WEEE materials and its tremendous impact on the economy, society and environment is easy to be realized, by considering that the production of common electrical and electronic equipment (e.g. smartphones, PCs, monitors, tablets, home appliances, etc.) requires highly expensive and often rare material types (e.g. gold, copper, steel, etc.). Until now, the registered practices for WEEE recycling require really expensive, extensive and time-consuming manual effort for pre-processing the input materials (categorization of electric/electronic devices, disassembling them, sorting of device components), before they are eventually introduced to a fine shredding machine and a subsequent material separation one.

HR-Recycler will target the development of a ‘hybrid human-robot recycling plant for electrical and electronic equipment’ operating in an indoor environment. The fundamental aim of the system will be to replace multiple currently manual, expensive, hazardous and time-consuming tasks of WEEE materials pre-processing with correspondingly automatic robotic-based procedures (categorization of electric/electronic devices, disassembling them, sorting of device components), before the materials are eventually provided as input to the fine shredding machine.

The overall goal of HR-Recycler is to create a hybrid collaboration environment, where humans and robots will harmoniously share and undertake at the same time different processing and manipulation tasks, targeting the industrial application case of WEEE recycling. The primary output of the envisaged system will be to extract sorted electric/electronic device components [e.g. Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs), Cu coils, capacitors, etc.] and concentrated fractions (e.g. copper, aluminium, plastics, etc.) of increased economic and environmental value.

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