AI for Sorting Batteries Developed

Guest_Jim_* - December 28, 2012 10:53AM in Science & Technology

Something often forgotten by many people is that batteries are not actually supposed to just be thrown away, or at least not all kinds of batteries. The chemicals within the batteries are typically toxic, which is why they should be recycled or otherwise properly disposed of. Researchers at the University of Gothenburg have created a machine to help with that effort by using artificial intelligence to sort used batteries.

Modern artificial intelligence is quite different from that described in science fiction as the software does not have emotions or a desire to conquer mankind. Instead AI is designed to perform a task and learn from the task to create hypotheses, which it then tests. In this case the task is to use a camera to identify different kinds of batteries and sort them by what chemicals they contain. It has already been given images of batteries from all possible angles, but it also keeps the images it takes of the batteries it sorts, so it may us those to build its knowledge base.

The sorting machine also records information about the batteries it processes for the operators. This information can be used for a number of purposes, including potentially providing an inventory to other companies, which may wish to purchase battery waste for their own uses.