Human-Robot Collaboration as a new paradigm in circular economy for WEEE management
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E-waste is a priority waste stream as identified by the European Commission due to fast technological changes and eagerness of consumers to acquire new products. The value chain of the Waste on Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) has to face several challenges: the EU directives requesting collection targets for 2019–2022, the costs of disassembly processes which is highly dependent on the applied technology and type of discarded device, and the sale of the obtained components and/or raw materials, with market prices varying according to uncontrolled variables at world level. This paper presents a human-robot collaboration for a recycling process where tasks are opportunistically assigned to either a human-being or a robot depending on the condition of the discarded electronic device. This solution presents some important advantages; i.e. tedious and dangerous tasks are assigned to robots whereas more value-added tasks are allocated to humans, thus preserving jobs and increasing job ...