In an article published on March 23, 2017 by news provider Greener Package, editor Anne Marie Mohan reported on a robotic system that has learned to grab and separate food and beverage cartons from the mixed recycling stream. The robotic system was developed in the scope of a pilot program conducted by the Carton Council of North America in collaboration with the companies AMP Robotics and Alpine Waste & Recycling, based in Denver, U.S.. Through fine-tuning and adjustments, the robot with spider-like arms and grippers has achieved an increased sorting rate of 60 cartons per minute as compared to the human average of 40 cartons per minute.

Jason Pelz, vice president of recycling projects at the Carton Council of North America and vice president, environment, at Tetra Pak cluster Americas, stated that the robotic system “greatly expands opportunities for the carton industry as we work to increase the efficiency of carton recycling and, ultimately, divert more cartons from landfills.” He further noted that “this technology has widespread implications for the recycling industry, as it can be adapted to other materials.”

In an article published on March 31, 2017 by news provider Dairy Reporter, editor Mary Ellen Shoup further explained that the robot operates through a vision system that is controlled by artificial intelligence (AI) and “can distinguish between what is a carton material and what is not.” According to Matanya Horowitz, founder of AMP Robotics, the robot “is able to learn logos, shapes, textures.”

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Anne Marie Mohan (March 23, 2017). “Robot programmed to separate cartons in recycling stream.Greener Package

Mary Ellen Shoup (March 31, 2017). “Recycling robotics uses AI to sort food and beverage cartons from other materials.Dairy Reporter