ZenRobotics, a Finnish research group, has developed robots that can sift through construction waste 24 hours a day -- and they can differentiate concrete from wood, glass or plastic, and remove hazardous contaminants. Having such a robot as part of a construction team can "relieve the occupational hazards from toxic substances and sharp or heavy objects that threaten human sorters every day," said Sean Faulk of Living on Earth.

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