This Is The Future Of Waste Management

Many of us have been asking for some time now “where are our robot servants?” We were promised this dream life of leisure and luxury, but we’re still waiting. Modern life is a very wasteful one, with items delivered to our doors with the click of a mouse, but the disposal of the packaging is still a manual affair. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to summon a robot to take the rubbish to the recycling, ideally have it fetch a beer at the same time? [James Bruton] shares this dream, and with his extensive robotics skillset, came up with the perfect solution; behold the Binbot 9000. (Video, embedded below the break)

With a frame built from aluminium extrusion, using t-nuts to attach to 3D printed pieces where required, the off-the-shelf bin fits snugly in place. The base has a three-wheeler approach with a rear-mounted caster wheel. On the front, a pair of Gimson robotics 24-V worm-geared motors drive each wheel in a two-wheel differential arrangement, with a 3D-printed TPU tyre on each side. A big servo motor on the back of the frame pulls a cord attached to a leaver mounted on the bin lid, completing the mechanics.

Control for the motors is via an Arduino Mega hooked up to a pair of BTS7960 high current H-bridge drivers mounted on small PCBs, with wheel encoders on top of each motor to provide some basic dead-reckoning navigation. However as [James] explains, accumulated error due to wheel spins, and other external factors make dead-reckoning navigation indoors a dead-duck, so an Nvidia Jetson Nano is used together with a Raspberry Pi camera, and some fiducial markers, to provide a more accurate positioning system. The mandatory googly eyes add the finishing touch to the robot aesthetic. But that isn’t the whole solution. As [James] shows, it is useless to start the robot moving poking a debug button. Voice-summoning is the final piece of the build, utilising DeepGram AI-based speech recognition to tell the Binbot where to go. All that was required was to plug in a USB Omni-directional microphone and add a few extra scripts on the Jetson, and away it goes.

All it needs now is the ability to interface to the fridge and to fetch that beer, and we’ve got it made. Feel free to dig into the project GitHub and add a pull request!

On the subject of voice-commanded beer fetching robotics, this is already a solved problem, but it can’t recycle the empties for you.

13 thoughts on “This Is The Future Of Waste Management

    1. Curious, considering you can measure revolutions of the tires and their circumference to calculate distance, there will be a tiny error, depending on your calipers (tire diameter/radius) and how the carpet deforms. I’d be interested from a roboticist if such thing are important.

  1. I got a dog. She happily comes over to dispose of waste cardboard. Haven’t managed to train her yet to leave it in the bin once she’s finished playing with it, but it sure keeps her happy.

    1. Same thing with our shelter kittens. A delivery gets made and they crawl all over it waiting for the “human stuff” to be removed so they can play in it. Who needs TV when you have pets? :D

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