Resource Recycling News

Robotic sortation technology takes Innovators award

Matanya Horowitz of AMP Robotics addresses the crowd at the Recycling Innovators Forum.

The third-annual Recycling Innovators Forum has awarded $20,000 to AMP Robotics, a Colorado-based startup that aims to provide low-cost robotic sortation options to the recycling industry.

The award, announced as part of Resource Recycling Conference 2015 in Indianapolis, will provide funding to help get the idea off the ground.

“This award is really validating for us,” Matanya Horowitz, the founder of AMP Robotics, told Resource Recycling shortly after receiving the award. “It really proves that what we’re doing is important to this industry and I’m incredibly honored to be recognized in this way.”

AMP, which is based in Boulder, Colo., has worked to develop technology that allows machines to learn how to recognize objects primarily by “seeing” thousands or millions of photos of them. The company was recently awarded a sizable grant from the National Science Foundation.

Aimed at encouraging and supporting actionable projects within the municipal recycling industry, this year’s Recycling Innovators Forum was funded by the American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division, the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Resource Recycling, Inc. and Waste Management. Additional support was provided by the Southeast Recycling Development Council and Resource Recycling Systems.

Leading up to the announcement, five finalists for the award made their case in front of judges as well as investors, industry professionals and attendees of the Resource Recycling Conference.

In deciding to award $20,000 to AMP, judges said they “found global implications for changing the entire recycling industry” in the upstart robotics venture.

The other finalist projects were C-Block, PRISM, Versalite and Your Bottle Means Jobs. For more information on each of the finalists and the judges for the event, click here.

In 2013, Recycling Innovators Forum funding was awarded to Earth911, Inc. for a concept that aimed to use smartphone technology to improve recycling awareness. Last year, the contest awarded prizes to two winners: the Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council and Ruby Lake Glass LLC.

For a photo slideshow of the 2015 Recycling Innovators Forum, click here.

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