Recycling is often too bothersome of a task for the average person. Enter Dustbot, an adorable Segway-powered robot that travels from home to home hauling out people's garbage on request. When notified by mobile phone, Dustbot uses GPS and motion sensors to locate the caller's address. Upon Dustbot's arrival, the caller selects the type of garbage he wants to give the robot. Dustbot then carries the trash or recycling to the appropriate location.
Researchers at the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna CRIM Lab in Pisa, Italy, developed Dustbot as a solution to the inconvenience of garbage trucks that arrive only at fixed times and places. Dustbot not only runs at all hours, whenever your garbage is ready to be picked up, but it can navigate the narrow alleyways prevalent in urban environments. Click on the video below to see the Dustbot and its cohorts-in-cleaning, DustCart and DustClean, in action.
The friendly-looking Dustbot carries 70 pounds of garbage, travels at two miles an hour, and comes equipped with a battery that enables 10 miles of autonomous travel. While the thought of robots roaming around cities may be disconcerting for some, the convenience of on-call recycling could be a dealmaker for people who are tired of seeing their sidewalks littered with unsightly trash bags.
The only thing that would make Dustbot more perfect, once it goes commercial, is if it would also deliver our dry cleaning.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.