Nov 21, 2017 - Robots are now being developed to sort household recyclables and differentiate between construction wastes. What will this mean for the human workers? Matt Clay in Waste Management World writes about the increasing presence of robots in industry, in particular recyclables and waste, that robots once suitable for only niche applications, are now being developed that can sort household recyclables and differentiate between construction wastes. What will this mean for the human workers? Does it mean the start of robot revolution? How accurate is the technology?
British pre-eminent scientist Prof Stephen Hawking once warned that the “development of full artificial intelligence (AI) could spell the end of the human race”. While we are many years away from AI taking over from humans in true Terminator fashion, technology has changed how we interact.
The rise of smart phones and apps have meant that electronic devices have become an extension of the body; a high tech major organ of communication. Being without it, for many, leads to what is now being called ‘nomophobia’ – the fear of being without your mobile phone.
While devices are becoming more integrated in our daily lives, one industry that perhaps hasn’t seen technological development as fast as others is waste management. Many material recovery facilities (MRFs) do contain teams of near infrared (NIR) advanced machines sorting through waste streams at a lighting pace. Yet, teams of waste pickers – people stood in lines working long and hard hours – still remain to provide final quality control; humans are still key to the operation.
Nov 21 2017 - Liberio Riosa is not one to get ahead of himself and he has grown his export business, LZ New Zealand, step-by-step over the past ten years. But he is hugely energised by a new patent the company is about to lodge which, he says, will redefine the maglev industry.
16 Nov 2017 - The International Energy Agency’s new forecast that demand for natural gas will increase 45% by 2040 is a major opportunity for New Zealand, says the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ). “Global demand for natural gas is only going to grow because it has half the greenhouse emissions of coal. This means that producing and exporting it from New Zealand has the potential to be a win-win outcome for global emissions and for our economy,” says PEPANZ CEO Cameron Madgwick.
“The report clearly highlights the role natural gas can play in reducing emissions by replacing coal in industrial processes and power generation. This reinforces the need for new exploration and development of our natural resources, benefiting New Zealand and the world.
“Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is going to be a major growth industry and this is great news for New Zealand given our potential deposits.
“Much of the demand is likely to come from China, India and other Asian countries. Other nations are eager to meet this demand and by the mid-2020s the United States is projected to become the world’s largest LNG exporter.
“This is an export industry New Zealand can and should be a part of. It could mean more jobs, exports and earnings for the Government through royalties and taxes.
“Taranaki is the only region currently producing but we know other areas have great promise. The recent report by New Zealand Oil and Gas looked at the Barque prospect off the coast of Oamaru and predicted it could generate $32 billion in taxes and royalties for the Government over the life of the field.”
The International Energy Agency also forecasts that global oil demand will continue to grow to 2040. While fuel efficiency and electric vehicles will reduce use by passenger cars, other sectors such as trucks, planes and shipping will continue to drive demand.