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.

55 thoughts on “Robot trash can catches anything you throw near it

  1. 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. :)

  2. 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 :-)

    1. “Progress is not made by early risers. Progress is made by lazy men looking for easier ways to do things” – Robert Heinlein

      1. Great quote from “Time Enough for Love”. I always liked the one about early risers, something along the lines of: “The early bird gets the worm is only a sign that the worm should have slept in.”

  3. “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).

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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!

  6. 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.

    1. 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.

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

    (No, Mel. Just analyze trajectories.)

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

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

  9. 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?

  10. 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.

    1. 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).

    2. 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!

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