Artificial intelligence
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'Fast Company' names Amp Robotics a 2021 World-Changing Ideas finalist

Amp’s proprietary artificial intelligence has been recognized in two categories.


Amp Robotics Corp., a waste and recycling robotics company based in Denver, has been recognized as a finalist in Fast Company’s 2021 World-Changing Ideas Awards. The awards honor the businesses, policies, projects and concepts that are actively engaged and deeply committed to pursuing innovation when it comes to solving health and climate crises, social injustice or economic inequality.

Amp’s proprietary artificial intelligence (AI), which is used in material recovery facilities (MRFs) and other recycling facilities, placed in two categories: “AI and Data” and “Best World Changing Idea North America.” 

“Artificial intelligence is our core technology and foundational to our success as a company, so it’s exciting to be recognized for the transformation it’s enabling us to bring to waste and recycling,” says Matanya Horowitz, founder and CEO of Amp.

According to a press release from Amp, the technology applies computer vision and learning to guide robotic sorting systems in identifying recyclables found in the waste stream by color, size, shape, opacity, consumer brand and more, storing data about each item. The company says its technology can recognize and recover material as small as bottlecap and coffee pods from complex material streams. 

Horowitz says, “Our recent introduction of a secondary sortation facility, applying automation enabled by AI, is designed to drive down the cost of recovery while creating high-quality bales of recycled material for resale. We’re continuing our efforts to develop solutions that bring greater data and transparency to recycling to aid the capture of more recyclables and support producer initiatives to increase recycling rates and create new value streams for materials.” 

Now in its fifth year, the World-Changing Ideas Awards showcase 33 winners, more than 400 finalists and more than 800 honorable mentions focused on social good. A panel of Fast Company editors and reporters selected winners and finalists from a pool of more than 4,000 entries across transportation, education, food, politics, technology and more. Several new categories were added in 2021, including Pandemic Response, Urban Design and Architecture, and the awards feature entries around the world. 

“There is no question our society and planet are facing deeply troubling times. So, it’s important to recognize organizations that are using their ingenuity, impact, design, scalability and passion to solve these problems,” says Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company. “Our journalists, under the leadership of senior editor Morgan Clendaniel, have discovered some of the most groundbreaking projects that have launched since the start of 2020.”

Last month, for the second consecutive year, Amp was named to Forbes AI 50, a list recognizing private, promising North American companies using AI in ways that are fundamental to their operations. In 2020, Fast Company named AMP one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies and recognized Horowitz as one of its Most Creative People in Business.