How self-driving tech can help manage trash better

Self-driving cars are coming - but can the technology be used in industrial mobility projects to make the life of workers safer and better?
5 April 2018

Now your garbage can can just get to the curb on its own. Source: Shutterstock

Wouldn’t life be so much better and easier if you didn’t have to take out the trash every morning? Just taking it to the curb is a task – and things can get really annoying when you miss the “truck”? Isn’t it?

Canadian robotics company AI Incorporated knows how you feel – and they’ve created a solution just for you.

The company has released a design for an autonomous refuse robot (pictured below). It “automates” the painful bit for you – taking the bin to the curb every morning at 7AM sharp – or whenever your garbage man comes!


Self-driving trash can. Source: PRNewsfoto / AI Incorporated

A new application for mobile robotics, the new AI enhanced robotics system introduces a device that can autonomously travel to the curbside and wait for the pickup truck at pre-scheduled times.

The company has designed the product so customers can schedule the time for pick-up via a mobile app and allows them to check status in real time.

In case the robot needs help with navigation or gets stuck, the user can “control” it through the app as well.

Mobilizing “any given machine”

With this new application in mobile robotics, the company plans to use its Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) technology combined with deep learning to pioneer in a new generation of robots.

The autonomous refuse receptacle robot is an application for the company’s Versatile Self Localizing Autonomous Platforms (VSLAP).

A new robot proprietary software called the Quantum Slam Operating System (Q-OS) can help companies mobilize any given machine.

With this, invention humans emptying trash cans will be a thing of the past. When it is time for pickup, the bins will simply leave their post to be emptied.

“Robots are the perfect solution for eliminating those tasks which humans do not wish to conduct,” said Ali Afrouzi, CEO, AI Incorporated and bObsweep Inc.

These robotic devices contain a comprehensive navigation system using a combination of SLAM, deep reinforcement learning, and computer vision.

According to the company, these devices will be able to map their environment, travel autonomously, communicate with other devices, and monitor their internal contents with an extensive array of sensors.

Although the company has applied the technology to trash cans, it demonstrates how there might be other industrial applications as well. One of the first to come to mind is the handling of toxic materials and hazardous substances – but there can be a thousand other things businesses will think of to make the life of their workers better, safer, and more productive.