BINGO tests robot on high-risk tasks


Waste management company, BINGO Industries, has received its first Artificial Intelligence (AI) spotter prototype, ROBINGO, to take over high-risk tasks usually carried out by recycling centre spotters.

While controls are in place to manage safety risks in operations, BINGO wanted to further eliminate any risk to people on site and began developing its first AI spotter last year.

Declan Hogan, Chief Information Officer at BINGO, said once fully operational, the AI robot will be able to accurately identify any hazardous materials.

“We are really excited to have received our AI prototype which we are currently testing at our sites,” Hogan said.

“The robot is equipped with cameras to identify dangerous materials on the tipping floor and its accuracy will be greater than the human eye due to its advanced technology.

“The robot creates a 3D scan of a waste pile using three cameras – one infrared camera to detect temperature, one camera to see depth and another normal camera that provides colour. The end goal of this technology is to be able to identify each material type in a customer bin to safely prevent any hazardous materials entering the recycling process.”

Hogan said a spotter’s role can be dangerous, prompting the move to eliminate risk of injury or accident.

“A spotter’s role is to monitor and direct traffic on the tipping floor at recycling centres and transfer stations and inspect the loads to ensure hazardous materials aren’t included,” he said.

“The task means that they often come in proximity of moving vehicles, requiring strict communication between the individuals operating the heavy machinery and the spotters.

“The introduction of ROBINGO will reduce any exposure to heavy machinery, which is a great safety improvement and outcome.”

ROBINGO is expected to provide BINGO customers with improved waste and recycling reporting as it learns more about the waste streams received at the recycling facility, MPC2, at Eastern Creek in Western Sydney.

BINGO aims to have AI robots operating at all sites in the coming years.

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