Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Artificial intelligence helps sort used batteries

19.12.2012
Research at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden and Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden has resulted in a new type of machine that sorts used batteries by means of artificial intelligence (AI). One machine is now being used in the UK, sorting one-third of the country’s recycled batteries.

‘I got the idea at home when I was sorting rubbish. I thought it should be possible to do it automatically with artificial intelligence,’ says Claes Strannegård, who is an AI researcher at the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology.


Optisort Battery Sorter

Strannegård contacted the publically owned recycling company Renova in Gothenburg, Sweden, who were positive to an R&D project concerning automatic sorting of collected batteries. The collaboration resulted in a machine that uses computerised optical recognition to sort up to ten batteries per second.

The sorting is made possible by the machine’s so-called neural network, which can be thought of as an artificial nervous system. Just like a human brain, the neural network must be trained to do what it is supposed to do. In this case, the machine has been trained to recognise about 2,000 different types of batteries by taking pictures of them from all possible angles.

As the batteries are fed into the machine via a conveyor belt, they are ‘visually inspected’ by the machine via a camera. The neural network identifies the batteries in just a few milliseconds by comparing the picture taken with pictures taken earlier. The network is self-learning and robust, making it possible to recognise batteries even if they are dirty or damaged. Once the batteries have been identified, compressed air separates them into different containers according to chemical content, such as nickel-cadmium or lithium.

‘For each single battery, the system stores and spits out information about for example brand, model and type. This allows the recycler to tell a larger market exactly what types of material it can offer, which we believe may increase the value through increased competition,’ says Hans-Eric Melin, CEO of the Gothenburg-based company Optisort, which has developed the machine.

This means that besides the environmental benefits of the machine, there are commercial benefits. Today the collection and sorting companies are actually paying money to get rid of the batteries. But Melin thinks that real-time battery data could spark a new market for battery waste, where large volumes are traded online.

So far, the company has delivered two machines – one to Renova in Gothenburg (where half of all the batteries collected in Sweden are sorted) and one to G&P Batteries in the UK. The interest in Optisort and its machine is rising and Strannegård, who founded the company, is very happy his idea is turning out to work so well in the real world.

‘This is sparking further research and development so that we will eventually use artificial intelligence to sort all types of waste,’ he says.

Link to video showing how the machine works:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OugqnVO7WiU

For more information, please contact:
Claes Strannegård
tel.: +46 (0)707-52 78 69
e-mail: claes.strannegard@gu.se
Hans-Eric Melin
tel.: +46 (0)733-80 03 71
e-mail: hanseric.melin@optisort.com

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OugqnVO7WiU

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht A big nano boost for solar cells
18.01.2017 | Kyoto University and Osaka Gas effort doubles current efficiencies

nachricht Multiregional brain on a chip
16.01.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bodyguards in the gut have a chemical weapon

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

SF State astronomer searches for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet

20.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Treated carbon pulls radioactive elements from water

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>