Robot trash can catches anything you throw near it

This guy is about to toss the blue ball half way between the book shelf and the waste basket. By the time it gets there the waste basket will have moved into position to catch the ball perfectly. It’ll do the same for just about anything you throw.

We’re unable to read the captions but it looks like this may have been made as part of a commercial which is shown in the first few seconds of the video after the break. From there we see the development of a locomotive mechanism which will fit into the bottom of the bin. It start as a single swivel wheel, but gets more complicated quite quickly. Once the low-profile three-wheeler is milled and assembled it’s time to start writing the code to translate input from a Kinect 3D camera and extrapolate the position for catching the trash. The final result seems to do this perfectly.


  1. Daniil says:

    This would benefit from some omni-wheels methinks.

  2. Tim says:

    WHAaaaaaaaaAaaaaaAAaAAAaAAAaT? Thats awesome.

  3. Ken says:


  4. Vivia says:

    Rough translation of the initial comment, after the commercial:

    “And with this, hello everyone.

    This time I tried making a waste basket where trash automatically gets in.”

    And final comment:

    “And with this, the Earth’s garbage problem is solved!”

    I’m too lazy to translate intermediate captions. :)

  5. Will says:


  6. harviecz says:

    Well… now just figure out how to fit the kinect into trash bin to make it work everywhere without any tuning…

    BTW if you’ll make this little bigger you can easily find yourself waking in trash the morning after partyhard :-)

  7. TheCreator says:

    Put an acuator and a plate at the bottom of the can and you can have an interactive game for kids.

  8. The DON says:

    Next step….

    Program it to deal with bouncing an object off the wall into the bin.

    very good idea

  9. ino says:

    I love it!

  10. Elias says:

    I definitely want one :)

  11. MakerDino says:

    This is a must have item! Awesome Build!!!

  12. phil says:

    it’s funny how ambitious one must be to be effectively lazy these days

  13. vinit says:

    Thats just Aces….. ACCCCCCCCCES

  14. jpommer says:


  15. Hirudinea says:

    If it could also empty itself I’ed buy a dozen.

  16. Destate9 says:

    Blown away

  17. spiralbrain says:

    Holy Son of a @#$%^&* Awesome!

  18. RunnerPack says:

    “this may have been made as part of a commercial”

    More likely inspired by the commercial, but still a very cool build. The speed and agility of the platform alone is a win; the object tracking is gravy (or icing, if you prefer).

  19. Chattafuup says:

    Naples, Italy would benefit from this greatly if scaled to public trash can size. Can’t walk anywhere here without seeing trash everywhere and people just tossing it on the ground.

  20. barnie says:

    this would be useful to catch stray basketballs. I hate fetching the ball after an airball.

  21. DarwinSurvivor says:

    The only thing I can’t figure out is how it knows which direction the can is facing. The only thing I can think of is that it accelerates a little bit, measures what direction it moved, then turns to compensate, but none of the videos show it doing any such thing.

    • pRoFlT says:

      Maybe it calibrates first. by moving around to figure out its resting direction? Then it knows which way to go when trach is thrown. Just a thought.

    • Pablo Mayobre says:

      Im having the same problem here there should be a trick to know how much the wheel have moved or something so you know where the wheel are aiming but its really difficult to know there should be something but it doesnt move at all I dont really understand but Im gonna hack it and do my own I sware!

  22. Tim says:

    best basket ever!

  23. WitchDoc says:

    Smart design. It doesn’t need omniwheels because all three swivel wheels are always pointing in the same direction. Short of using a wall or other obstructions this thing has no way of turning it’s body around, thus the can is always facing the same direction. All that’s needed is some calibration with the kinect, after calibration all it needs heading and distance.

    • Pablo Mayobre says:

      Still then the wheels have an orientation lets say the can is at 0 degrees, if you want it to move it from point A to point B you have to move a known distance but also a direction to move to this direction you face the wheels to that direction so you have to rotate the at alpha degrees, once the can is at point B and you want to move it to the point C you know the angle but this angle (beta) is calculated from the initial 0 degrees so you have to add alpha to this value. so every time you move you have to store your angle always, and some odd things may happen if you turn the can around or something so there should be some calibration every time. Moving is just as you say but you have to take the angle in account to.

  24. horse says:

    Though always do robot testing with a Playstation controller lol the best way!

  25. Mel says:

    Be sure to put in a mega-battery. Houseflies are going to keep it very busy.

    (No, Mel. Just analyze trajectories.)

  26. Steve says:

    are all those wheels getting driven from one motor? that’s pretty impressive!

  27. dana says:

    Awesome, but needs a way to keep the batteries charged.

    Maybe an induction charger with the charging coil built into a floor mat.

  28. mur1010 says:

    This is INCREDIBLE! MUST HAVE! Unfortunately I can’t read the captions.

  29. soopergooman says:

    they should put it up on kickstarter.

  30. nicholas says:

    reminds me the trash bots from “only forward” awesome!

  31. echodelta says:

    Now for a toilet you can’t miss.

  32. Steve says:

    Because Nerds suck at sports….

  33. Steve says:

    That is one AWESOME USB Steam Punk Keyboard he is using to program his Arduino at the begining… :-)

  34. kade says:

    so my trash can will play fetch now, oh well, i guess i will be taking my redundant dog to the pound now…

  35. Roger Wilco says:

    That is the greatest thing ever invented, that guy will become rich if he markets that idea

  36. Ed G says:

    I can think of a number of games (baseball, cricket, etc) that are now obsolete. Perhaps there’s even a military anti-grenade version that also launches it back where it came from?

  37. Nik says:

    Really interesting application. Is there a possibility of any sort of tutorial for this one?

  38. Chris says:

    I’m sorry, but I just don’t see that as being real.

    It looks to me like that basket starts to move before he throws the paper. Also, for it to know *where* the items are going to land is going to require a lot more CPU than an arduino.

    That video is a joke. A test to see how gullible you folks are.

    I liked the idea, and liked the music, though.

    • DarwinSurvivor says:

      1) In none of the shots do you actually see the arm at the beginning of the shot, so it’s hard to say either way which happened first.
      2) Projectile arc predictions are actually fairly simple to calculate. We did them on paper in under a minute, I’m fairly confident an arduino could do it in 1/2 a second (leaving enough time to actually move to tho calculated coordinates). Also remember that they are using a kinect, so there’s a good chance the trajectories are being calculated on the computer and then being sent to the arduino. The arduino may even be nothing more than a fancy bluetooth receiver with the computer doing ALL the math (including navigation).

    • Pablo Mayobre says:

      He doesnt uses any Arduino thought. He codes a software for his PC that has a Kinect. Also the wheels moves really fast I think and the processing done by the computer is also fast so before you throw something it is looking at your arm to know the direction and it starts to move, when the object starts moving it calculates the acceleration and the height from the floors the math is easy and you can get the distance where it will land you already have the direction so you have the 3D point and you can move there as fast as hell remember that the motor its really fast!

  39. Matias says:

    Aww… cute Waddle Dee plushie…

    That’s a great garbage can, how far away can it move before the object lands I wonder…

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