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TrashBot uses AI to sort recyclables – TechCrunch


There are a number of startups working to improve waste sorting with robots. AMP Robotics is at the top of the list, coupling a picker and a conveyor belt to sort materials in large automated facilities. The technology aims to correct human deficiencies in recycling. Too often people don’t bother to sort the waste or just don’t understand where things are going.

Founded in 2015, CleanRobotics hopes to fix the problem at the point of disposal. The Colorado company’s flagship trash robot system uses machine learning and on-board robotic systems to sort materials from a single disposal point. He claims machines are able to do this with around 90% accuracy – not perfect, but certainly better than humans typically do.

“Recycling rules are confusing and consumers are often so confused that their recycling accuracy is sub-random, leading to highly contaminated recyclables, which no one buys,” CEO Charles Yhap said in a statement. . “Our system improves material diversion from landfill, resulting in more recyclables and less waste.”

Given the on-board AI/ML, the waste sorting robot naturally collects data to help improve the sorting process. CleanRobotics notes: “The recycling bin of the future doesn’t stop there, it also generates high-quality data for waste audits, triggers saturation alerts and has a large screen for video content. And with cloud connectivity, your TrashBot fleet gets smarter over time. »

It’s easy to imagine other trade-related data being used, depending on the specific waste the system collects.

This week, the company announced a $4.5 million Series A led by Melco International Development Limited and featuring SOSV/HAX, Undivided VC and Longmont Evergreen Opportunity Fund. The funding will go towards CleanRobotics’ plans to produce “hundreds” of systems, in addition to those already installed in high-traffic areas like shopping malls and airports.

In particular, the company says it is considering partnerships in China, Australia and Singapore. The funding will also be used to hire more people, improve manufacturing and accelerate research and development.

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