Japanese engineers developed sociable trash boxes that identifies litter and gets help collecting it.

Japanese engineers from the Interaction and Communications Design Lab at the Toyohashi University of Technology have developed little litter robots that can identify pieces of trash and ask nearby people to help them collect it. The Sociable Trash Box (STB) directly confronts wasteful behaviors and aims to get people to take responsibility for keeping their surroundings clean.

They engage with people using interactive social cues and vocal interactions in order to ask for their assistance in collecting trash. A pyroelectric sensor and distance sensor help the litter robots detect people’s body heat and move safely between them.

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