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Aionics Chief Scientist Venkat Viswanathan announces at AABC: new initiative using robotics for automated electrolyte discovery

December 2021

Aionics Chief Scientist Dr. Venkat Viswanathan, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, made a big announcement at the Advanced Automotive Battery Conference this week in San Diego.

Building on his CMU lab’s first robot “Otto,” Prof. Viswanathan announced new work that introduces a novel workflow coupling robotics to machine-learning for efficient optimization of a non-aqueous battery electrolyte. The new robot, “Clio,” is coupled to Dragonfly – a Bayesian optimization-based experiment planner.

Clio autonomously optimizes electrolyte conductivity over a single-salt, ternary solvent design space. Using this workflow, Prof. Viswanathan’s lab identified six fast-charging electrolytes in an amazingly rapid 42 experiments across two workdays. Compare that to 60 days using exhaustive searches of the 1000+ possible candidates.

This work no doubt ushers us into a new era for materials optimization with robotics and machine learning.

The pre-print publication from Prof. Viswanathan’s group describing this work is available on arXiv here:

AABC attendees can view Prof. Viswanathan’s talk on Pathable here:

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