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Now, Garbage Cans That Ask You To Pick Up Trash

Researchers in Japan have now developed robotic garbage cans that move around in public areas, asking people to pick up the garbage for them. Engineers from the Interaction and Communications Design Lab at the Toyohashi University of Technology in Aichi prefecture developed the 'social trash box' robots (STBs) that are equipped with a microprocessor, a video camera and a speaker, as well as a pyroelectric infrared sensor, an infrared ray sensor, and a distance sensor.

The little wheeled bin identifies public areas where people are present by detecting their body heat with its pyroelectric sensors.

Upon safely moving into that area with some help from its distance sensor, the robot then employs its camera in conjunction with an object recognition algorithm to identify both pieces of trash and other social trash box robots, Gizmag reported.

When it finds litter, it uses body movements and vocalizations to get the attention of nearby people, asking them to pick up the trash and drop it in its integrated bin.

Also, the robot can't be fooled. The infrared sensors at the top of the bin let the STB know if the litter has indeed been deposited. The robot is able to tip its flexible bin forward or backward, or twist it to either side.
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