Recycleye Founders Win “Young Inventors Prize”

In June this year, the European Patent Office (EPO) honored Belgian entrepreneur Victor Dewulf (25) and British computer scientist Peter Hedley (27) with joint first place in the inaugural Young Inventors prize.

The two entrepreneurs – CEO Victor Dewulf and CTO Peter Hedley of the company Recycleye – have developed an intelligent recognition and sorting system that enables waste management facilities to quickly and accurately separate rubbish, ensuring that more is recycled, EPO informed. “Dewulf and Hedley’s system consists of two parts, which can be used separately or together. The waste recognition system uses a cellphone-quality camera mounted above conveyor belts to take photos of the passing waste and send them to an algorithm, which ranks them for picking priority. Instructions on where to pick up and place the waste are then sent to a 6-axis robotic arm for sorting. The entire solution can make 55 successful picks from a conveyor belt every minute.”
The idea for Recycleye began when Victor visited a recycling facility as part of his degree, the UK-based company gave account. “He was surprised at the level of manual labor involved, making sorting waste prohibitively expensive and limiting the volume of recycled material. He suspected that a type of artificial intelligence called computer vision could improve the process and turned to his friend Peter Hedley to partner on the project.”

As reported by EPO, the pair founded their company, Recycleye, in 2019. “They have since raised millions of Euro in funding and have so far deployed 17 vision systems and five robot arms, with more in the pipeline.”

(Published in GLOBAL RECYCLING Magazine 3/2022, Page 22, Photo: European Patent Office)