artificial intelligence

Nature magazine covers the Fish Face ID tunnel from Refind!

As part of the Nature magazine’s Toolbox section, Refind is featured as one of few companies using AI to empower conservation scientists. The article covers different AI tools for audio and visual recognition and how to learn more about machine learning in general. The full article by Roberta Kwok here.

Nature is the world’s largest journal about natural sciences and was founded in 1869.

Refind case-study in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation WEF report on Artificial Intelligence!

We are proud to announce that Refind was one of the case-studies in the comprehensive report on “Artificial Intelligence and The Circular Economy” published by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation for the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2019!

The report was written together with Google and McKinsey and thoroughly explains how artificial intelligence can be used as a tool to move towards a more circular economy. It focuses specifically on how AI is used in the food industry and in the used electronics sector, and presents 8 case studies, of which Refind is one.

Here is the full report.

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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.

Going Green at the Schoenbrunn Castle - peak moment for Sustainably Smart!

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Meet us at Going Green - CARE INNOVATION 2018in the historic Schoenbrunn castle in Vienna on November 26-29!

The EU project sustainablySMARTwill organise sessions on “Circular Design of Mobile Devices” and “Smartphones: Repair, Remanufacturing and Reuse of Components” on November 29, 2018 as well as show several live demos during the Going Green conference.

In our project exhibition booth you can see demos of the Phones Sorter by Refind, test services by Grant4Com, component re-use by ITR and Semicon, the Puzzlephone prototype by Circular Devices, embedded modules by AT&S, Speech and Fraunhofer IZM, data erasure from Blancco and D4R tablet by MicroPro.

On November 30, we will have a live demo together with ProAutomation of the automatic sorting and disassembly of smart mobile devices during the Technical Excursion to ProAutomation´s facility in Vienna.

The rest of the conference program will feature the latest in circular economy, environmental design, clean manufacturing, resource efficiency, climate change, new eco-efficient technologies, collection, reverse logistics, refurbishment, carbon trading, re-use, recycling and policy making from leading experts in industry, academia, consulting, recyclers and public area around the globe. Leading companies and institutions in green electr(on)ics will present their innovative products, processes and services at the exhibition.

Successful installation of the OBS500 in Norway - the third generation battery sorter delivers!

STATE OF THE ART BATTERY SORTING FACILITY

We are proud to present the successful installation of our new battery sorter, the OBS500, at the brand new facility of Batteriretur in Fredrikstad, Norway!

The shipping, installation and commissioning went smoother than ever before and it is very much thanks to the new space efficient design of the equipment. Less parts, less need for assembly, smaller footprint and more standardised packaging and testing has made the installation easier and better. During a couple of days the machine was installed, staff was trained and the sorting process up and running. This was followed by the final quality tests performed this week, showing the best sorting results ever! 

It was a true pleasure to install the equipment at Batteriretur. They have made great efforts in building a new energy efficient battery sorting plant right by the waterfront in Fredrikstad. 

Proud Refinders in front of the OBS500: Amir, Fredrik, Dan and Farshid.

Proud Refinders in front of the OBS500: Amir, Fredrik, Dan and Farshid.

THIRD GENERATION BATTERY SORTING

As you have heard in earlier posts, this step feeder design is the third generation of our sorting machines. We first used vibrating shaker boards and directional carpets to line up the batteries. It looked nice to begin with, but in the end it turned out to be quite challenging. If the batteries were dirty, the dirt stayed in the carpets and decreased the performance. For the second generation, we invented our own system, a series of V-belts and gravity as the speed accelerator. It was great in terms of speed and performance, but required quite a lot of space and used many moving parts.

We still wanted to build something that would be more space and maintenance efficient - and finally found a good sub-supplier and development partner to do this with by the end of 2016. After a lot of work and prototyping, we introduced the third generation - the step feeder - during the fall of 2017, which we now installed in Norway. It has a slightly lower throughput than the second generation, but we believe that in the long run this machine will be a winner - being more reliable and require less maintenance!

Here is a short movie showing the different feeding designs!

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! 

Introducing the world's first reverse vending machine for batteries!

We are pleased to announce that Coop Norway and Energizer have launched the world’s first battery reverse vending machine in Oslo, Norway. The event was held on Earth day, April 22nd, at one of Coop's stores.

The machine is developed by Refind Technologies and allows customers to return all types of household batteries in a similar way as a reverse vending machine for bottles. The customers will receive a discount of one Norwegian krone per battery in the form of a discount coupon that can be used when buying new batteries. We hope that this initiative will have a positive impact on battery recycling by increasing awareness and providing incentives for people to recycle household batteries.

 

 

This has been an incredible and unique opportunity for us at Refind; to develop the world's first reverse vending machine for batteries and our first consumer-focused machine/application. The main goal was to design a machine that is user-friendly and easy to understand for anyone who comes by with a battery to recycle. We know everything about recognizing and handling batteries, so the main challenge was to make it cost efficient, user friendly and precise. We therefore, focused a lot on the user experience when reading the display screen, interacting with the machine and receiving the printed coupon. 

Highlights from the launch:

Fish tech talk in London

We are proud to announce that we have been invited to speak about our recognition technology at the 10th International Illegal Unreportered and Unregulated Fishing Forum at the Chatham House in London on March 16-17. 

Our machine learning expert Rasmus will present possibilities and opportunities within fish identification and learn more about the subject from the knowledgeable list of other speakers as well as from the audience.

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.

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

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.