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Development of a low-cost autonomous cognitive multisensor (Z-Node) for a holistic IT-based waste management system

Fast facts

  • Duration

About the project

In cooperation with the industrial partner Zolitron Technology GmbH from Bochum, FH Dortmund is developing an intelligent sensor system, including a cloud infrastructure, for retrofitting recycling containers for used glass, which allows waste disposal companies to directly query the filling levels of their containers. It enables them to empty containers according to their needs and to plan the route of the waste disposal vehicles in an economically and ecologically optimal way. The architecture of the system is shown in the figure.

The essential innovations of the Z-Node project are:

  • Maintenance-free operation of the sensors for up to 10 years (elimination of batteries due to micro energy harvesting and 
    energyefficient design),
  • simpleretrofitting of existing containers by adhesion of a sensor, and a smartphone assisted registration (vibration measurement instead of weighing or optical ultra sound measurement; distributed data evaluation on the sensor and in the cloud based on methods for machine learning),
  • efficient support for development with data-driven machine learning approaches (use of data loggers and manual recording oflevels in the learning phase; transfer and storage of large amounts of raw data in the cloud; easily modifiable algorithms inthe cloud) as well as
  • updating capability of the sensor network to support an agile approach to a development with iterative improvement cycles (use of NB-IoT radio technology).

Funded by

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy


ZF 4038206AB7

Cooperation / Project Partner

  • Zolitron Technology GmbH
  • Prof. Dr. Claus Fühner, Ostfalia Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften 

Contact & Team

Contact & Management


  • Johannes Westphal
  • Marcel Deuker

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