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AMP Robotics looks to push the boundaries of artificial intelligence in sorting

US recycling technology company AMP Robotics Corp. has launched a second pilot to advance robotic sorting systems. The Denver-based artificial intelligence sorting specialist says the solution tackles ‘difficult-to-recycle’ scrap, like co-mingled plastics, paper and metals.

Following the success of its first pilot, the robotic sorting specialist now plans to roll out a number of secondary facilities in other parts of the country during 2021. AMP says it has managed to raise US$ 55 million in corporate equity in a Series B financing. Meanwhile, AMP is actively seeking to expand supply partnerships with US waste management companies to acquire residual waste.

The US currently recycles less than 33% of recyclable materials overall—and just 9% of plastics—produced annually. This means the ability to recover recyclables from residual waste streams more efficiently represents a ‘major opportunity’ to increase national recycling rates, according to company ceo Matanya Horowitz.

‘Secondary sortation efforts are not new, but have been held back by how to make it work economically and at scale,’ he explains.

AMP robots are average 80 picks per minute, which is twice as fast as humans.

AMP’s application of artificial intelligence (AI) for material identification and advanced automation has matured to the point where it’s now feasible to develop low-volume secondary sortation facilities that are economical to deploy and sustain nationally.

‘Results we’ve observed at our test facility are promising and represent an infrastructure solution that can increase recycling rates, divert recyclables from the landfill, meet the growing demand for recycled content, and protect our environment,’ Horowitz remarks.

He says AMP’s next-generation secondary sorting facilities apply advanced automation enabled by AI to economically sort through these low volumes of residue to recover mixed plastics like PET, HDPE, LDPE, PP, and PS. These material streams also contain ‘high-value recyclables’ like used beverage cans and old corrugated cardboard that are in high demand for resale to aluminum manufacturers and paper mills.

AMP’s secondary facilities drive down the cost of recovery while creating contamination-free, high-quality bales of recycled material for resale. AMP’s business model also introduces market certainty and new revenue streams for established MRFs by creating demand for residue that would otherwise cost businesses to dispose of.

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