Concrete-eating robot recycles waste material
‘ERO’ designed to disassemble concrete structures without waste or dust and enable the materials to be re-used in concrete buildings
Report from – Matt Clifford
A concept concrete deconstruction robot called ERO could potentially transform the current energy and water intensive approach to demolition.
The brainchild of designer Omer Haciomeroglu, ERO is designed to disassemble concrete structures and enable the building materials to be re-used for new pre-fabricated concrete buildings.
“Traditional methods of recycling concrete involve hydraulic pulverisers powered by diesel or electric engines, which create a lot of dust and waste energy as they smash reinforced concrete blocks,” said Haciomeroglu.
He added: “Even after the work is done, big machines scoop up the rebar and concrete mixture and transfer them to the recycle stations outside the city. Once there, the waste needs to be separated manually. All these operations all require heavy machinery.”
One of the main goals of the ERO project was to provide a smart & sustainable near future approach to the demolition operations that will allow re-using as much as possible.
ERO uses water jets to crack the concrete surface to disassemble concrete and sucks up the mixed debris. It cleanly separates the waste mixture and packages the cleaned material. This is then turned into labeled packaged asset to be transferred right away into concrete pre-casting stations to be re-molded into new building blocks.
Haciomeroglu said: “After the operation, instead of a pile of unidentified mixture of waste, we will have clean and labelled aggregate and dust and rust free rebar mesh ready to be cut and utilized. Water is mostly recycled back into the system.”
Far from just a wild-eyed idea, Haciomeroglu believes he has provided the industry with a near future concept as all the technologies used in ERO exist today.
“This project is an excellent solution for the complexity of today's demolition techniques which consumes a lot of energy to create a lot of waste. All around the world concrete is being demolished increasingly to make new ones every day. ERO simply turns waste into asset.”
The five month project was sponsored by Atlas Copco, Rock Drills, AB in Sweden.
Images: Artist’s rendition of ERO at work
ERO concrete recycling robot
How ERO works
(All photos courtesy of Omer Haciomeroglu)