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EverstLabs Uses AI, Robotic Arms for More Efficient Recycling

Hoping to cut down on people doing dangerous, dirty, and difficult jobs, AI robotic arms are working to make recycling more efficient.

August 9, 2023

1 Min Read
robot arm MR1540.jpg
Scharfsinn / Alamy Stock Photo

Hoping to cut down on people doing dangerous, dirty, and difficult jobs, AI robotic arms are working to make recycling more efficient.

AMP Robotics, Machinex, Recycleye, and California startup EverestLabs are using AI and robotics to expedite and improve the process of sifting through garbage that arrives at recycling plants.

“Because of AI, because of the robotic arms, we have seen plants recover 10, 20, 30% more than what they have been doing previously,” said JD Ambati, CEO of EverestLabs. “They have been losing millions of dollars to the landfill, and because of AI, they were able to identify the value of the losses and deploy robotic arms to capture that.”

EverestLabs uses 3D depth-sensing cameras on recycling conveyor lines that can identify up to 200 items in each frame. Then, within 12 milliseconds, the AI software can tell what kind of packaging an object is using and an object’s material.

“We get data around brands, types of packaging, types of material, and how much of that is getting recovered and reused, and how much of that material is being sent to the landfill,” said Ambati.

Ambati adds that robotic arms can recover packaging three to four more times effectively than humans, which is a large cost saver for major recyclers like SMR.

“Labor is a big challenge in our business, like in lots of the economy,” said Tom Outerbridge, president of SMR. “We can replace some portion of the positions that we would otherwise have to fill with human beings with a robot that can do that in a cost-effective way, that’s obviously good for the business, and it’s good for the operation.”

Read the full article here.

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