ZenRobotics announces it has raised €13 million to expand their international presence and produce the ZenRobotics Recycler on a global scale. The investment round was led by Invus, an international equity investor with evergreen capital. Lifeline Ventures, a Vigo accelerator, also participated with a minority stake.
The Helsinki-based company's main product is the ZenRobotics Recycler, a complete waste processing system designed primarily for construction waste. The system employs machine learning to pick and sort raw materials automatically, which can include metal, stone, and wood to be resold as scrap. The company says that the system is not purpose-specific, so it can be readily software upgraded for new tasks.
CMRA estimates that 325 million tons of recoverable construction and demolition materials, such as concrete, asphalt, shingles, gypsum wallboard, wood, and metals are generated annually in the U.S.
It's easy to get the impression that ZenRobotics Recycler is some specialty robot, but instead they use off-the-shelf robots you would find at an automotive manufacturing plant. The total product is a complete waste processing system seen in the image above. Sensors on the system may include visible spectrum cameras, NIR, 3D laser scanners, haptic sensors, X-rays, and others.
Containers Maes, a Belgian sustainable recycling company, was the first to order the system back in July, and ZenRobotics announced another order last week from Netherlands-based Baetsen Recycling. Both deals exceeded €1 million and will be installed this winter. Payback time is estimated at one year.
"The fantastic ZenRobotics team has created a product that is unique; it will be a tough act to follow," says Juho Malmberg, CEO, ZenRobotics Ltd in a press release. "After an intensive research and product development phase we’re now shipping: the world gets ZenRobotics Recycler! Our continued partnership with Invus opens great possibilities. We can now go global, fast. The robotic revolution in recycling is closer than ever!"
Here's a video of the ZenRobotics Recycler in action.