News
May 14, 2024

Breakthrough in robotics research: accelerating deep reinforcement learning

Exciting news emerges from the forefront of robotics research as a team of visionary scientists, including Ali Aflakian, Alireza Rastegarpanah, Jamie Hathaway, and Rustam Stolkin, unveil their latest innovation in a paper titled “An online hyper-volume action bounding approach for accelerating the process of deep reinforcement learning from multiple controllers.

Published on April 28, 2024, and accessible via DOI link here, this pioneering work merges concepts from reinforcement learning (RL), Learning from Demonstration (LfD), and Ensemble Learning into a unified paradigm. The crux lies in utilizing knowledge from a diverse set of control algorithms to streamline the action space of an agent, thereby expediting the refinement of a control policy through deep reinforcement learning.

The significance of this approach extends to its ability to enhance the efficiency of reinforcement learning in tasks involving continuous action spaces, as showcased in the context of a visual servoing (VS) task. By employing various methods for bounding the actions of the RL agent during training, including hypercube and convex hull techniques, the researchers demonstrate accelerated learning and optimal solution attainment.

Moreover, their experiments reveal faster convergence of VS error while maintaining higher manipulability of the robot arm compared to traditional methods, signaling a paradigm shift in robotic control methodologies.

This research not only advances the frontiers of robotics but also holds promise for real-world applications, paving the way for more agile and adaptive autonomous systems. Stay tuned for further updates as the REBELION project continues to drive innovation in robotics and beyond.

 

Cover image by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Press releases
Mar 4, 2024

#CircularWasteEU – Joint social media effort marks International Day of Zero Waste 2024.

Press release, 04/03/2024

The vast scale of worldwide waste generation presents a significant challenge to climate change, biodiversity, and environmental pollution. Statistics indicate an annual production of 2.1 to 2.3 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste, with a mere 61–62% undergoing proper management. Navigating the realms of sustainable consumption, production, and optimizing waste handling processes have become imperative for advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In recognition of the waste crisis, the United Nations General Assembly declared 30 March as the International Day of Zero Waste in 2022. This annual observance calls upon member States, organizations, civil society, the private sector, and various stakeholders to participate in activities promoting sustainable practices, advancing the transition to circular economies, and fostering awareness of the pivotal role played

by zero-waste initiatives.

Taking an active stance within the realm of circular economy projects, REBELION is set to actively engage in the International Day of Zero Waste 2024. This involvement includes a collaborative social media campaign featuring partnerships with K-CCRI, Woodcircles, Reconstruct, Agro2Circular, Plastice, ViSS, B-ferst, Cultivate, and REBELION projects.

The campaign, titled #CircularWasteEU, predominantly comprises succinct videos featuring project coordinators or partners elucidating the pivotal role of circularity in realizing a potentially zero-waste world. These videos explore the distinct methods that each project adopts to tackle broader challenges.

Commencing on 4 March 2024, each project will disseminate the #CircularWasteEU campaign through its respective channels, running until 30 March. The extended timeline facilitates the inclusion of interested parties keen on joining this impactful initiative.

ICONS extends an open invitation to any initiative, project, or company enthusiastic about championing the cause to participate in this collaborative campaign. Together, they aim to amplify the collective impact and further underscore the urgency of embracing circular practices for a sustainable future.

 

Photo credits: Joel Muniz on Unsplash

Events
Feb 28, 2024 to Feb 29, 2024
London, UK

Battery Recycling Europe Summit 2024

This two-day summit is set to be a cornerstone for the exchange of ideas and collaboration within the dynamic landscape of battery recycling.

 

REBELION associated partner, Dr. Alireza Rastegarpanah from the University of Birmingham (UoB), will share insights into the pivotal role of robotics and artificial intelligence in the disassembly and recycling of electric vehicle batteries. The summit aims to explore pressing topics shaping the battery recycling industry. From the European Battery Recycling Policy and Circular Economy’s impact to innovations in sustainable de-manufacturing and the future trends in critical raw materials, this event covers a wide spectrum of critical subjects.

 

Among the distinguished attendees are Battery Recyclers,  Battery Experts, Consultants, Battery Associations, Universities, and Government Representatives.

 

For those eager to contribute to the discourse, ACI invites you to consider a speaking opportunity. Share your insights with a 20-30 minute presentation by submitting an abstract for consideration to Elise Bolton, reachable at +44 (0) 20 3141 0624 or ebolton@acieu.net.

 

This summit promises to be a gathering of minds, bringing together industry leaders, researchers, and changemakers for a transformative experience.

News
Feb 21, 2024

REBELION project advances sustainable battery management at consortium meeting in Verona

Dedicated to giving lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) a second purpose beyond electric mobility, the REBELION project addresses the looming waste management challenge posed by these batteries.

Batteries, including those used within the Volkswagen Group undergo a standard recycling process in collaboration with partners worldwide, recovering valuable materials like nickel, copper, and cobalt. This contributes significantly to sustainable mobility by preserving resources crucial for battery manufacturing. Additionally, as electric vehicle numbers grow, an advanced recycling and reuse strategy will be implemented, ensuring the long-term preservation of the planet’s resources through widespread application.

A key focus of the project meeting was the critical assessment of battery performance, essential for predicting the longevity and efficiency of decommissioned batteries. Understanding the potential for cost-effective second-life applications is vital to shaping sustainable practices in the electric mobility sector.

Funded by the European Union, the REBELION project not only tackles waste management challenges but also underscores the significance of recycling as an environmentally friendly solution for LIBs. Beyond environmental benefits, recycling serves as a valuable economic resource, allowing for the valorization of raw materials within LIBs for further manufacturing.

As the project progresses into its tenth month, the Verona meeting has set the stage for continued collaboration and advancements in sustainable battery management. The REBELION project stands poised to make a lasting impact, paving the way for a greener and economically viable electric mobility future in Europe. For more information, visit REBELION-project.eu.

News
Feb 13, 2024

EU champions sustainable practices with new batteries regulation

In a landmark decision, the European Parliament and the Council unveiled the Batteries Regulation on 17 August 2023, marking a significant leap toward a sustainable and circular economy.

With global demand for batteries projected to surge 14 times by 2030, the EU positions itself to meet 17% of this demand. The Batteries Regulation, a testament to its adaptability to evolving socioeconomic conditions, technological advancements, and diverse battery usages, addresses the environmental impact of this exponential growth. At its core, the regulation mandates sustainability throughout a battery’s entire life cycle. From the sourcing of materials to collection, recycling, and repurposing, the EU seeks to establish a seamless, circular approach to battery management.

Fostering industry competitiveness

In response to the prevailing energy landscape, the rules embedded in the regulation aim to nurture the development of a competitive and sustainable battery industry. This strategic move aligns with Europe’s commitment to a clean energy transition and reduces reliance on fuel imports. The Batteries Directive, set to be repealed in 2025, paves the way for the New Batteries Regulation, which came into force on 17 August 2023. The legal framework sets the stage for a more robust an d adaptive approach to managing batteries.

Implementing sustainable practices: Looking ahead, the European Commission is slated to adopt delegated and implementing acts under the new Batteries Regulation, starting from 2024. These acts will provide the practical underpinning for the ambitious goals outlined in the regulation. Eurostat’s contribution offers detailed statistics on batteries and accumulators produced and waste generated, promoting transparency in battery management.

As the EU takes this momentous step toward shaping the future of batteries, the Batteries Regulation stands as a beacon of commitment to sustainability, circularity, and a cleaner energy landscape. This regulatory framework not only responds to immediate demands but also sets the foundation for a resilient and environmentally responsible battery industry in the years to come.

Read more (source)

Events
Nov 30, 2023
Castell de Riba-roja de Túria
Valencia, Spain

Circular Economy Conference and Ecoriba Awards – VI edition

Join us for the VI edition of the Circular Economy Conference and Ecoriba Awards on November 30th at Castell de Riba-roja de Túria, in Valencia. We are thrilled to announce that Guillermo Sanchez, REBELION coordinator, will be presenting insights into the fascinating realm of second-life batteries. Discover how REBELION is at the forefront of innovative approaches to sustainable practices. Don’t miss this opportunity to delve into the future of circular economy solutions!