Robot Trash Collectors Are Roaming the Streets of Italy (w/ Video)

Jul 24, 2009 by John Messina weblog
DustCart: Robot Trash Collector

(PhysOrg.com) -- In the city of Peccioli in the Tuscany region of Italy a robot called DustCart has been zipping through the streets. This is part of a $3.9 million research program called DustBot that aims on collecting trash on demand.

DustCart is designed to go from door-to-door collecting waste on demand. Waste is deposited into the by opening the trash draw using a display. The draw is then closed and the type of is selected using the touch screen. DustCart would then take the rubbish to a central collection point.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

The objective is to build a team of robots using Wi-Fi internet and 20 cameras located on buildings in a camps environment. This configuration would then be used in cities where the robots would be deployed. The challenge is to have the robots work cooperatively with the senses around them and also with people.

Autonomous navigation is another key factor for the robots. It's important that the robots know where they are going and what may seem easy for us is very complex for the robots.

The robots are equipped with an engine that is powered by a lithium-battery which permits them to run silently. The robots are also equipped with special sensors that can monitor air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, ozone, benzene, sulfur oxides, CO2, CO and air temperature.

DustCart is still in the prototype stage and does not have the kind of rapid response time that would make them effective on crowded streets. One day however these robots may become tourist guides or even help the elderly.

Via: GlobalPost

© 2009 PhysOrg.com

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User comments : 9

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RayCherry
not rated yet Jul 24, 2009
Anyone else thinking 'SkyNet'?
earls
not rated yet Jul 24, 2009
No. Innocent trash collecting robots on the street do not remind me of SkyNet. Maybe if they had guns.

Seems closer to iRobot to me... Before they pull a SkyNet.

Now if only the could power themselves from the refuge. :) They need a "Mr. Fusion" installed.
NeilFarbstein
1 / 5 (5) Jul 24, 2009
Some numbskull somewhere has designed robots that collect small prey and digests them to use as fuel in fuel cells. It can live off living animals including humans and you cant pull its plug. Beware the robo she wolves!
earls
5 / 5 (2) Jul 24, 2009
ROFL. Let me guess, you hold the patent?
NeilFarbstein
3 / 5 (4) Jul 24, 2009
There are a lot of nasty things in my patent notebooks that I wont attempt to build or patent. Stuff the military would want.
I'm sticking to my solar energy project.
Crossrip
5 / 5 (1) Jul 25, 2009
Anyone seen WallE?
donjoe0
1 / 5 (2) Jul 26, 2009
"can monitor air pollutants such as [...] CO2"

CO2 is not a "pollutant", you dumb twit, it's the main plant fertilizer that gives plants most of their mass as they grow, plus when there's more of it in the air, plants can grow in drier conditions (think "agriculture vs. famine").
N_O_M
1 / 5 (1) Jul 26, 2009
There are a lot of nasty things in my patent notebooks ...
Stuff the military would want.

Yeah, you've even managed to dumb-down the dumb-dumb bullet.
Microblitz
5 / 5 (1) Aug 01, 2009
I love it when people try to affect their superiority by insulting others. In your comment "CO2 is not a "pollutant", you dumb twit...". You should have consider the definition of the word 'pollutant' first. A simple check using an online dictionary states:

"
1. something that pollutes.
2. any substance, as certain chemicals or waste products, that renders the air, soil, water, or other natural resource harmful or unsuitable for a specific purpose." ref:dictionary.com

By your definition sound is not a pollutant, and yet it is described as such every day.