A Smart Trash Can? Now Why Didn't Someone Think Of That Earlier?

By Meera Dolasia on March 2, 2013

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We have smart phones, smart cars and even smart glasses, so it would only be logical that the next big idea would be . . . .  A smart trash can? At least that's what Minoru Kurata, an engineer at a Japanese auto company is hoping to bring to a store near you, soon.

But before you get your hopes up too high, the device is not smart enough to clean up your room, after you leave for school. What in can do however, is make you seem like basketball superstar. That's because every time a piece of trash is flung anywhere close by, it moves in that direction and ensures that it lands inside, and not around the periphery, as is usually the case.

To achieve this magical feat, a motion-sensing Kinect camera placed strategically around the area first detects the position of the trash. It then sends this information to a computer, which rapidly calculates the location and transmits it to the can via a wireless connection.

This activates the trash can, which is equipped with a motor controller and wheels all snugly fitted on the underside. In order to ensure that the can does not topple over as it tries to catch the badly aimed trash, Minoru designed it so that it has the lowest possible center of gravity - Which means that it is narrow, compact and sits low on the ground.

While getting a trash can that requires such an elaborate set-up may not be a priority on your list, Minoru who was awarded an Excellence Award at the Japan Media Arts Festival held in Tokyo from February 13-24th, says that he has received many inquires about licensing his product for commercial use.

However, the young engineer is holding out for two reasons - He first needs to secure a patent for the elaborate technology and more importantly, get the can's success rate of detecting the falling article a tad higher than the current 10-20%!

Resources: techland.time.com, digiinfo.tv

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  • hersheybar_game
    hersheybar_gameTuesday, February 17, 2015 at 3:30 pm
    best thing that happened in life.
    • dumbhumbugmum45
      dumbhumbugmum45Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 3:21 pm
      It'd be good if you were dis-abled wich I am so I need 1 it took me 10 mins 2 right this
      • thythy
        thythyMonday, May 12, 2014 at 8:28 am
        I wish I have one of those at home or somewhere.
        • SomebodyTuesday, February 11, 2014 at 3:18 pm
          Smart trash can? We already have too much trash! How about a trash can that crushes all your trash? That will be smarter. (Sarcasm)
          • avaWednesday, December 25, 2013 at 5:46 pm
            just get up and don't be lazy
            • #Logic Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 9:59 am
              Why cant you just get up and throw away your trash in stead of being lazy and have ing a trash can that comes to you? i mean simple logic guys.. just get up and throw away your trash its self sorry but seriously a automatic trash can! it seems unrealistic to me.
              • BTR and AriannaMonday, October 7, 2013 at 6:39 pm
                i want one but i would hide it when my friends are over or when my sister needs it,(my sister talking)hey..... menie:(
                • mandygar12345
                  mandygar12345Monday, October 7, 2013 at 5:43 pm
                  who's a good trash can? you are! you are!
                  • montanaw
                    montanawTuesday, September 17, 2013 at 6:39 am
                    i need one so my mom wont be mad at me if theres trash in my floor because i miss the trash can
                    • Noah boahWednesday, May 22, 2013 at 4:04 pm
                      Me likey me want thingy-ma-bob



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