The car maker foresees a future where robots help trash collectors with the heavy lifting

Imagine looking out your window in suburbia to see small robots scurrying about, delivering your trash bins to the garbage truck. The Swedish company VOLVO is intent on developing robotic garbage collectors in their latest project nicknamed “ROAR.”

ROAR stands for RObot-based Autonomous Refuse Handling. The system has two main parts: robots that can transport trash bins and also a high-tech garbage truck (more like a mothership) where the garbage man controls the robots on a dashboard.

Volvo is partnering with three universities and a waste disposal company to work on the project. Mälardalens University will design the robot. Chalmers University, another Swedish school, will be making the computer programs and algorithms that will run on the robot. The control panel, interface and communication systems will be designed by Pennsylvania State University Transport Institute.

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