How AMP Robotics is changing recycling; Festo wins gripper challenge

Welcome to Episode 29 of The Robot Report Podcast, which brings conversations with robotics innovators straight to you. Join us each week for discussions with leading roboticists, innovative robotics companies, and other key members of the robotics community.

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I chat with Matanya Horowitz, founder and CEO of AMP Robotics. We discuss how AMP’s pick-and-place robots are improving the economics of the recycling industry. AMP raised a $55 million Series B to kick off 2021, so we unpack how the new funding will enable AMP to scale its current technology and develop new initiatives. Matanya discusses the technical and business challenges AMP faces, as well as the evolution of its custom vision system and gripper.

Matanya tells a valuable story about how the data collected by AMP’s vision system is opening up new revenue streams. Some customers are interested in using just AMP’s vision system, not the robots, to learn more about the quality of recyclable materials in the waste stream. I’ve talked to Fetch Robotics a lot about doing something similar with the data collected by its autonomous mobile robots.

I also spoke to Josh Fox, an applications engineer at Festo USA. Josh was part of the team that won the recent MassRobotics-GM Gripper Challenge. Josh takes us inside the challenges and details the universal end effector Festo developed to handle a variety of sheet metal parts. The photo below is the best photo we’ve been able to track down about the winning end effector.

MassRobotics GM Gripper Challenge

If you would like to be a guest on an upcoming episode of the podcast, or if you have recommendations for future guests or segment ideas, contact me. For sponsorship opportunities of The Robot Report Podcast, contact Courtney Nagle for more information.

Podcast timestamps

  • 0-2:22: Show Intro
  • 2:23-34:43 Conversation with Matanya Horowitz, founder and CEO, AMP Robotics
  • 34:44-50:00 Conversation with Josh Fox, applications engineer, Festo USA
  • 50:01-50:50 Show Outro

Show notes

mike oitzman headshot.
Written by

Mike Oitzman

Mike Oitzman is Senior Editor of WTWH's Robotics Group, cohost of The Robot Report Podcast, and founder of the Mobile Robot Guide. Oitzman is a robotics industry veteran with 25-plus years of experience at various high-tech companies in the roles of marketing, sales and product management. He can be reached at