Dübendorf - Aurora, the robot platform from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa), is to take over material selection, assembly, and analysis for battery cells in the lab in an automated and independent manner. This will enable Empa to develop innovative energy storage ten times as fast.

Empa researchers are accelerating the development of urgently needed new energy storage by around tenfold using the battery robot Aurora. This aims to make European battery research and development competitive on an international level.

Enea Svaluto-Ferro is currently implementing the work steps and training Aurora. He commented in a report: “While the robot weighs, doses and assembles the individual cell components with constant precision, initiates and completes charging cycles precisely and performs other repetitive steps, researchers can use the generated data to drive the innovation process forward.”

Prof. Corsin Battaglia, Head of Empa’s Materials for Energy Conversion Laboratory, added: “With the chemistry-agnostic Aurora, we can also bring prototypes from our labs, such as saltwater batteries or solid-state batteries, to market more efficiently and quickly.” The robot platform, which Empa presents in a video, is currently being developed further at the labs together with the company Chemspeed Technologies AG from Füllinsdorf in the canton of Basel-Country.

Aurora is a part of Horizon Europe’s Materials Acceleration Platform, which is being set up as part of BIG-MAP, the largest project in the European research initiative Battery2030+. The EU recently awarded Battery2030+ more than 150 million euros.

Aurora has also been incorporated in the ETH Board’s Open Research Data initiative. Among others, this includes the use of AiiDA, an open-source workflow management system that was developed as part of the National Center of Competence in Research MARVEL. The researchers will present Aurora at the Paul Scherrer Institute during Swiss Battery Days 2023 from September 18 to 20. ce/mm

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