Packaging Innovation
Clarke is a cardboard recycling robot
May 23, 2017

WALL-E who? Meet Clarke, the cardboard recycling robot!

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