Imperial College London graduates Peter Hedley (27 years old) and Victor Dewulf (25) won the Young Inventors prize 2022 for their efficient AI-based waste-sorting system.

The European Patent Office honoured the British-Belgian duo for their computer vision system that is trained to recognise waste items on a conveyor belt, equipped with a robotic arm to pick out valuable material. The invention increases the speed, accuracy and purity of waste-sorting.

Their system has already been rolled out to recycling facilities in the UK and Europe through the inventor duo’s London-based start-up Recycleye, increasing the volume of recycled waste and making recycling more financially attractive.

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Image credit: European Patent Office / Joseph Thompson

Dewulf and Hedley’s system consists of two parts, which...