It’s been almost ten years since WALL-E first melted our hearts, but it seems the recycling robot
is now facing some competition. In terms of recycling capabilities, that is. Clarke, a cardboard recycling
robot developed by AMP Robotics and nicknamed after inventor Arthur C. Clarke, is not nearly as cute as WALL-E. But boy, can it – or should we say she? – recycle!
60 picks per minute
Officially called The AMP Cortex System
, Clarke is a major step forward for the recycling industry
. While human sorters are capable of up to 80 picks per minute, they pick around 40 pieces on average. Clarke, on the other hand, doesn’t get tired
and she certainly doesn’t slow down. The cardboard
recycling robot currently picks an average of 60 pieces per minute.
Cardboard recycling: a vision of the future
Clarke’s robotic arms
have been around in the recycling industry for a while now, but that’s not all she has to offer. What’s so innovative about Clarke is her artificial intelligence
which enables her to understand her surroundings and identify objects in great detail. Some even compare Clarke’s learning abilities to those of self-driving cars. Clarke can:
- calculate the types of packaging coming down the belt,
- identify brands,
- estimate weights,
and pick and sort everything accordingly. Clarke’s cameras feed her images to a computer which uses advanced machine learning algorithms
. In other words, the more Clarke sees, the better she gets at identifying, picking and sorting.
Moving beyond cardboard packaging materials
With more and more robots
being introduced to the packaging industry, AMP Robotics is convinced that it’s only a matter of time until Clarke’s technology will be used to recycle packaging materials other than cardboard
. And they’re probably right: Clarke has received about 1 million dollars
in grants from both private and public sectors since 2015.
Inspired by Resource Recycling