Urban waste management is a most challenging issue for modern societies. Reducing pollution and saving environmental resources provides significant opportunities for local, national and international economic growth. The ANASA project aims at developing, integrating and commercializing an autonomous robotic system for categorizing and separating recyclable materials. The development of an automated procedure for recyclable waste separation is significantly contribute in increasing the (currently low) recycling rates in Greece, for the benefit the local societies and the economic enhancement of recycling activities across the country.

The ANASA Robotic Waste Separator (RWS) has significant advantages over the existing ordinary recycling systems; i.e. high reliability in object recognition (material detection), short separation cycle (high speed), significantly low installation volume, low cost and ease of application to both old and new recycling industries. The development of the Robotic Waste Separator is based on the integration of mature technologies, namely the identification and spatial recognition of recyclable materials and the targeted robot picking-and-placing of these materials to the appropriate classification bin, providing a complete solution for both the main parts of the recycling process.

By now, a trial version of the system has implemented and installed in a lab-room. The mechanical system integration is composed by six main parts: (i) the ABB IRB360 DELTA robot, (ii) an external vision camera system for object detection, (iii) a conveyor belt of 4,5×0.8m length and 135-277 mm/sec speed range (iv) a robot workspace cage with steel construction for high speed, (v) a vacuum generator with pressurized air supply of 10 bars which provide a low pressure to the suction cup, and (vi) a vacuum gripper suction cup that designed and made in-house for the specific application.

The final goal is ANASA RWS be deployed in two different urban waste management industrial units, in ESDAK (processing composite wastes) and in DEDISA (processing recyclable wastes), where the system’s reliability and validity will experimentally be tested in real industrial environments. The long and extensive operation of the system in hard industrial conditions will directly focus the adjustment of the RWS parameters to achieve optimal performance and excellent waste separation results.


The scope of this project is to develop, integrate and commercialize an autonomous robotic system for categorizing and separating recyclable materials. This video illustrates significant test cases from the pilot installation of the ANASA robotic sorter.


In summary, the main objectives of the ANASA project are:

  • the exploitation and combination of the know-how available technologies by the two top educational and research institutes of Crete for the benefit of local communities and the Greek economy,
  • the construction of a new Robotic Waste Separator (RWS) of 4 fraction-unit recovery waste recyclable material (eg PET, HDPE, PP, LDPE), which can easily be incorporated into new and existing units with minimal interventions in sorting facilities,
  • the industrial application of the RWS to two waste management companies namely ESDAK (processing composite wastes) – Heraklion, Crete, and DEDISA (processing recyclable wastes) – Chania Crete, in green (mixed waste) and blue (recyclable packaging) line respectively to evaluate the usability and the performance of the RWS and to make focused improvements to increase the system’s efficiency,
  • the exploration of the potential economic exploitation of the RWS as a low cost stand-alone product which significantly improves the existing industrial recycling infrastructure.

Additionally, the main technological objectives that guide all the proposed cooperative actions of ANASA project are:

  • to improve the existing sorting system by doing more quantity of recyclable materials and the sorting of more types of recyclable fractions materials with a single machine,
  • to achieve higher recovery rates (97-99%) vs. optical separators (93-95%) currently used,
  • the creation of a low cost integrated system, directly applicable to industrial applications environments,
  • to design a system that needs less space, time and easier installation.


ANASA Sept. 2018 Sept. 2021 Partnership Agreement 2014-2020 grant (GA-03110), ANASA: Autonomous robotic system for urban waste recycling, (Sept 2018-Sept 2021).



ANASA project is Co-funded by Greece and European Union: