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An artificial intelligence-driven robot called AMP Cortex (designed by AMP robotics) sort through recyclables twice as fast as humans. AMP Cortex can perform physical tasks like picking, sorting and placing material to attain 99% accuracy.
The robot looks like a big hollow box that hangs on a steel frame over a conveyor belt at the recycling center. AMP Cortex has a camera that feeds a stream of the recyclables passing under it to an AI software program. The AI is trained to recognize various types of items with 99% certainty.
Rob Writz, AMP's director of business development, explained:
"It perceives objects that are potentially bent, deformed, folded, crushed, just like you or I would if we were looking at the materials in these sorting facilities. It's using the same kind of perception and logic as a human being."
When the software identifies an item the robot uses a suction cup on one of its three hands to pick up the recyclable and put it in the right bin. The AMP Cortex can, unlike human workers, provide comprehensive data on the recyclables. In other words, the bot keeps track of every item it notices and can share that list at the end of the day. FreeThink writes that this information could be useful for waste reduction efforts.
Last year (2020) in April, the robots had sorted through one billion recyclables in the past 12 months. On January 4th, AMP reported that the company had secured another 55 million dollars in funding. This will support which the efforts to keep recyclables out of landfills well into the future.