Refind

FISH FACE - successful installation on-board!

The Fish Face project is in its final phase, and the first Fish Face unit has now been successfully installed on-board a fishing boat in Kupang, Indonesia! Amir from Refind struggled with everything from expected challenges like lack of electricity and internet connectivity availability, to more unexpected problems like cable-chewing mice and timing of the tide.

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Since July the Fish Face Unit has been used at a local fishery site in Kupang to collect images of different fish species in order to build up a large database of the local fish species. Thousands of images have been collected and there is a first “classifier” installed now - able to recognise about 65 different fish species. This software will be updated continuously along with an increased number of collected images.

The Fish Face Unit was, as planned, installed on the deck on a local fishing boat. Deck space is very limited and so is the access to constant electricity or internet. We have solved this by adding a power supply and a cloud based data storage solution to which information can be uploaded when possible. The activity of classifying fish is not real-time dependant and can be performed when possible. The geographical location tagging will however be done at the actual time when the photo is taken, so the GPS data collected is not depending on internet access.

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All classifications are stored with their species name and GPS tags, and we have also added the possibility to do quality checks by connecting to a webpage where the latest classifications can be viewed. This will give both fishermen and the staff of The Nature Conservancy a transparent and easy process to overview and improve the performance.

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In the table above the classifications are listed and an image is shown from the actual Fish Face unit next to the label image of the classification performed. Later on a segmentation functionality will be added, where the fish length will be calculated. The system also allows for handling input from many different image sources (boats).

The next phase of the project will focus on evaluating the equipment and overall solution, and aim to expand the project into installing more camera units on more boats and expand the operations.

Last summer in Niagara Falls - the OBS600 installation at Raw Materials!

The magazine Product Recycling News have written a nice article about the Optical Battery Sorter installation at Raw Materials Company in Niagara Falls, that took place in the early summer of 2017. Both Ashish Bhandari, the CTO of Raw Materials, and Johanna Reimers, the CEO of Refind, were interviewed. Read the article below or on the magazine online page!

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Wasteless Future blog post about Refind!

Antonis Mavropoulos from Wasteless Future contacted us for an interview recently and the result was a nice blog post about Refind, our technology and our visions. Read it here, along with a lot of other nice articles!

FISH FACE project goes on board!

We are happy to announce that we are launching the next phase of the FISH FACE project together with The Nature Conservancy! Until now we have verified that our software can handle fish species recognition by collecting fish images taken in a on-land fish photo booth. The next step is to design, build and install an on-board photo capturing device to be used on some of the small fishing boats of Indonesia.

The purpose of collecting the images and recognise them automatically is to understand the fish populations better by gathering information about the species, the age, the size and the geographical origin in a more efficient way. We work closely with The Nature Conservancy who are involved in many different fish-related projects - and hope to make a large impact on the fishing industry and fishing research by introducing artificial intelligence and automation. This phase of FISH FACE is planned to take about a year and will involve several field trips to Indonesia for testing and try-outs. 

The new fish photo booth should accommodate fish sizes up to 80 cm long, and later on even larger fish. Given the rather rough conditions on these types of boats, the device must be robust and foot print efficient as well as not cause any extra handling for the fishermen. Quite a challenge - stay tuned! 

Most frequently asked questions - answered!

We have compiled the most frequently asked questions we receive from you. Hopefully, they provide some more insight into our operations.

1. What kind of objects are Refind's systems capable of identifying?

We have been asked to identify all kinds of objects: both crazy and normal stuff. Body parts in trash, coconut grading as the unexpected objects and used electronics and defects in furniture as more on the normal side. Important questions in return that we ask the customers are WHY (why automated and not manual) and HOW (how do you tell it apart), and then we weigh that against what different sensors would be able to perform.

2. What kind of sensors do you utilize?

We use all kinds of sensors and combine them on our technical software platform; the neural networks can use different sensors as data input sources. However, to have everything takes time and usually costs more than it is worth. Also, a limitation of sensors usually increases the processing speed. The most important sensor for our current applications is an RGB camera for taking images.  We also use laser sensors for identification of sizes or location detection.

3. How do you select the right kind of sensors for each system?

The sensors are selected based on the material to be sorted. We can use material specific sensors (like NIR, X-ray, LIBS or something else that can only tell what material it is). This makes sense when you are dealing with objects with homogeneous material. There are many companies already doing this.

3.1 Following up on that, how does Refind differ from other companies?

We focus on objects with complex material structures, like whole products, used electronics, where a material sensor does not make sense. You need to understand what model something is for it to be useful information for the customer. Then a camera is the best thing.

4. What kind of camera do you utilize?

So far, we are doing fine with our RGB camera, but it is similar to a one-eyed person that cannot tell depth. By adding a 3D camera, we have basically added another eye, allowing for depth check, which makes a big difference for recognizing items in a co-mingling environment.

5. How does your classification system work?

A computer program is fed with images of known identity for example "this is a picture of a computer", it then learns what to look for in these images in order to correctly classify them. Once the system is trained, the learning process stops and it is used for real-time classification of the objects that are being sorted by our machines.

6. How accurate are the classifications?

It depends on how many images the system has got access to for training itself for the task. More images give better accuracy. The battery sorters produce fractions of 97 - 99% purity.

7. How many different kind of objects can you recognize? AND How many images do you need per object to be recognized?

The system can recognize as many objects as have example images of. The number of images needed is different depending on the objects and kinds of images we get, from 30 and up to several thousands depending on the object.

Do you have a question for us? Don't hesitate to email us at info@refind.se or give us a call at 073-310 03 62.

 

Vote for Fish Face - finalist in the Google Impact Challenge!

We are very excited to announce that our Fish Face project is one of 10 finalists in the Google Impact Challenge: Australia! With your vote the project can become one of the winners and receive an additional 500 000 AUD to develop our technology further!

A world without fish is a world without food for half of the world's population. By collecting more data about fish species, age and behaviour in an automated way, we will know more about fish populations and enable a more sustainable fishing. The world needs it - we need it!

The Fish Face project is mainly run by The Nature Conservancy, a world wide environmental organisation, who has access to the fisheries and the expertise knowledge about the fish. The other two project members are we at Refind - proud providers of recognition technology and app development for the automated data collection - and Seth Heine, an entrepreneurial leader with sustainability as the main interest.

Voting is now underway to choose an overall winner to receive extra prize money from Google to further develop FishFace. If you’d like to support a move to sustainable fisheries around the world and keep fish in the sea, vote for FishFace now and help it win. Voting ends at midnight (ADST) October 25, 2016.

We’re also really encouraged that the Australian Government’s Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has agreed to share its data to help build the machine learning engine that will be the power behind FishFace.

Recycling International writes about the CEO of Refind

As a part of their recurring theme 'Women in Recycling', Recycling International has now discovered our woman at Refind - Johanna Reimers. Read the interview here, and look at their website for all other news within the recycling business!

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FISH FACE - Refind software enables sustainable fishing

 

We are happy to announce that Refind are involved in a large fishing data collection project, Fish Face, together with The Nature Conservancy. The software from Refind will be used to identify fish species.

Without proper data, fish can't be sustainable managed. But a new technology could change all of that.

Fish stocks around the world are declining—with an estimated 90 percent of the world’s fisheries over or fully exploited. In developing countries, like Indonesia, the decline of a fishery can have severe consequences—as nearly 40 percent of the Indonesian population lives just above the poverty line, fishing is a way of life and provides an important food source for millions of people.

A key challenge in addressing overfishing is the lack of data on just how many fish still exist. Especially in complex multi-species fisheries, like the ones in Indonesia and in many other tropical developing countries, data just doesn’t exist on all types and sizes of individual fish, making sound management almost impossible. In fact, some 90% of fisheries globally are lacking in stock assessment data. Traditional stock assessment methods are prohibitively expensive, and in the majority of fisheries in the developing world, the condition of stocks is not known.

Facial recognition for fish

The Nature Conservancy’s Indonesia Fisheries program is working with Refind Technologies to identify fish. The project is called Fishface and the ultimate goal is to build this technology into a smartphone app that could be used on fishing boats throughout the region and eventually be deployed around the globe. Through the use of affordable image recognition software that will detect species from photos, much faster and more accurate sorting of fish will be possible at the processing plant, or even as it is landed on the boat.

Ultimately, the pilot of the Fishface technology will offer a low-cost assessment of fish stocks—providing the essential data needed to assess and manage fisheries that are struggling around the world.

The framework envisioned will be applied across these types of fisheries in a multitude of geographies, with the potential to impact the some 260 million people who depend on fish for income and food.

Read this and more here on the The Nature Conservancy website.

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. They are present in over 35 countries around the world. 

Meet us at the IERC in Salzburg 19-22 January 2016

For the second time, Refind will be exhibiting at the IERC, International Electronics Recycling Congress. As usual it will be held in Salzburg, Austria, and will bring together over 500 producers, recyclers, refurbishers and organizations from all over the world. Refind will present the latest news from the recognition technology side.

Contact us if you want to book a seat at our speed dating table - 15 minutes - we are happy to host you! Johanna Reimers & Farshid Jafari Harandi

Refind exhibits at Ekocentrum - innovations for a good life

Together with 19 other companies, Refind participates in the Ekocentrum exhibition with the unique identification technology as one of the innovations for a better and more sustainable life. The exhibition kicked off on December 1st and will continue throughout 2016.

Come and have a look at the interesting innovations from the western region of Sweden, or read more about it here: http://www.ekocentrum.se/utstallning/page/2/.


Refind gets EU support for sorting phones!

We are happy and proud to announce our participation in the Horizon2020 Research and Innovation programme in a project called SustainablySMART. The project handles sustainable smart mobile devices lifecycles through re-design, reliability, reuse and remanufacturing technologies and comprises a consortium of 17 different companies from all over Europe.

 

Refind’s role in the project

Our part will be to provide and improve the feeding, identification and sorting of cellphones in order to optimize the disassembly of components or preparation for reuse depending on the model or condition of the cell phone. We will provide the technology to determine brand and model of each phone, information that can be used for registration and setup instructions for the down-stream process. We will work closely with ProAutomation, an Austrian company specializing in automatic disassembly of cellphones.

 

More about the SustainablySMART project

Project length: 48 months, starting in September 2015 and ending in 2019.

Project budget: 7 Million EUR total for the consortium

Project partners: Fairphone b.v., Fraunhofer IZM, Multimedia Computer System Ltd., Pro Automation GmbH, iFixit GmbH, ReUse-Computer e.V., Technische Universität Wien, Semicon Sp. z.o.o., Grant4Com, RFND TECHNOLOGIES AB, AT & S Austria Technologie & Systemtechnik AG, Speech Processing Solutions GmbH, PrimeTel PLC, Österreiche Gesellschaft für System- und Automatisierungstechnik and Blancco Oy Ltd.

New leadership at Refind

In August Johanna Reimers took the helm as CEO in Refind Technologies. Johanna is a co-founder of the company and has been responsible for the company’s operations such as project management, customer relations and sales.

 

Prior to founding Refind Johanna held the same position at Optisort. Before that Johanna spent ten years in the software industry as consultant and project manager. 

 

– I am really thrilled to take over the leadership for our great team and continue our the development of our business. We have exciting times in front ahead of us with a position as global leaders in automatic battery sorting and with the recent launch of our e-grader with potential to revolutionise the e-waste industry, says Johanna about her new mission.

First American battery sorter in production!

Last week we commissioned the OBS600, the battery sorter machine, at our American customer Battery Solutions in Howell, Michigan! 

We are happy to deliver the first automatic battery sorter to the US and hope for a prosperous relationship with Battery Solutions.

And here are some pictures from the implementation and the staff training of the machine. 

 

First US order for Refind

Refind's CEO Hans Eric Melin together with Robert Egan and Thomas Bjarnemark, Chairman and CEO of Battery Solutions

Refind's CEO Hans Eric Melin together with Robert Egan and Thomas Bjarnemark, Chairman and CEO of Battery Solutions

We are happy to announce that Battery Solutions, the leading battery recycler in the US, has agreed to purchase the OBS 600 system for automatic sorting of waste batteries. With the system Battery Solutions will be able to sort over 2000 lbs (1 tonne) per hour which will make the sorting much more efficient and will also enable collection of sorting data including brand, model, size and type.

We are really thrilled over this. Battery Solutions is a very professional and solid company with a long history in battery recycling. We will now work closely together in order to make both collection and sorting more efficient when several states increasingly are facing increased collection requirements not least for primary batteries.

Battery Solutions has one of the world’s most sophisticated alkaline recovery processes that yields a recycling efficency rate over 80 per cent. With the automatic sorting the this will create a very strong offer for companies and consumers that responsibly want to recycle their dead batteries.

You can read the press release here.