Amp Robotics, a Denver-based manufacturer of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics technologies for the recycling industry, has announced plans to add a new facility in Colorado that will be dedicated to the increased production of its robotics systems. According to a news release from Amp Robotics, the company plans to double the size of its engineering innovation lab to develop new AI and robotic applications for the recycling industry. Amp says it plans to release a series of new products and performance features in the coming months to help further automate material recovery facilities (MRFs) and make recycling more efficient.
The company also announced that it has hit the milestone of processing 1 billion recyclables using its technology over 12 months ending March 31. Amp reports that the “1 billion” milestone means that Amp’s technology has specifically removed 1 billion individual recyclable items from many other materials in the waste and recycling stream.
The company reports that its Amp Neuron AI platform uses computer vision and machine learning to recognize different colors, textures, shapes, sizes, patterns and even brand labels to identify exactly what the material is and whether it is recyclable. The tool guides robots to consistently perform sorting tasks about two times as quickly as human sorters. The technology can recover plastics, cardboard, paper, metals, cartons and other recyclables.
The company also says demand for its AI and robotics products has been strong in the first quarter of 2020.
“Revenue is up more than 50 percent, and our project pipeline continues to grow rapidly due to market adoption of our technology and the value it creates for our customers,” says Matanya Horowitz, Amp Robotics founder and chief executive officer.
“We also marked a very important company milestone: identifying, sorting, and picking our 1 billionth piece of material over the last 12 months," he adds. "This achievement demonstrates the productivity, precision and reliability of our AI application for the recycling industry. It also represents a meaningful environmental metric in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by approximately half a million metric tons.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, recycling has been classified as an essential service by the Department of Homeland Security. Amp Robotics reports that demand for its technology has accelerated as recycling businesses consider automation as they navigate labor shortages and ensure employees aren’t in harm’s way.
Joe Benedetto, president of Virginia-based Recycling & Disposal Solutions, says his company deployed Amp’s robotic systems prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, helping his facility to better weather the pandemic.
“We’re fully operational and can handle the heavier volumes of recyclables driven by shelter-in-place orders and rapidly changing consumer behavior,” Benedetto says. “We’re meeting the increased demand for paper and cardboard while protecting our employees and controlling costs.”
Amp appoints VP of international sales
Amp Robotics also has appointed Marcel Vallen to serve as the company's vice president of international sales. He will be responsible for sales and business development efforts in new geographies and establishing a global sales strategy.
“Welcoming Marcel to the team is key to our strategic growth plans, including in Europe and other international markets,” Horowitz says. “Marcel has a deep understanding of the challenges faced by the recycling industry both domestically and abroad, as well as the opportunities and value created by innovative and technology-driven solutions like ours.”
Vallen has more than 35 years of recycling and waste management experience. His background spans the design and build of MRF systems commercialization and general management of facilities around the world. Most recently he served as CEO of Denver-based Komptech Americas and Denver-based Plexus Recycling Technologies where he helped to bring in the ZenRobotics Recycler robotic waste sorting systems to the U.S.
“Smarter, more efficient recycling that produces reusable commodities is the future of the industry,” Vallen says. “Amp is at the forefront of helping recyclers modernize and automate their operations with the help of artificial intelligence and robotics, and I’m eager to advance these efforts by driving increased demand for our solutions in new and existing markets.”