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AI-Powered 'Smart Bin' Sorts Recycling

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Students from Marrickville Public School in Australia test out the Smart Bin's recycling skills.

Credit: Keith McInnes Photography/CSIRO

A prototype "smart bin" developed by researchers at Australia's University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) can sort recyclable materials automatically through a combination of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and machine vision.

UTS' Xu Wang said the system can categorize different types of waste such as glass bottles, metal cans, and several varieties of plastic.

"We have a camera and we're running an AI algorithm to classify different types of plastics and then we use IoT [Internet of Things] and other robotics technology to sort the waste into the bins," Wang explained.

The researchers envision smart bins deployed in shopping centers, schools, cinemas, businesses, and airports.

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