You know how it is, you're sound asleep until the crash, crunch, bang of the bin truck wakes you up and you realize you've forgotten to put the garbage out. Again.
Most of us, at one time or another, have done the mad down down the stairs in our barely-theres to personally present the garbage man with our rubbish. Now, imagine how soundly you could sleep if there existed a garbage man that only came to collect your rubbish when you called him.
Dustcart is an intelligent robot about the size of a person. He is mounted on a Segway base and can 'see' both moving and stationary objects with integrate cameras and sensors. An E.U. funded project, Dustcart collects your garbage only when you summon it.
Residents use their phones to make contact with the robot and using a triangulation system, he navigates his way to their homes by interacting with wireless networks. The system also plans out the best route between pick-ups.
Paolo Dario, coordinator of the DustBot project, told the Daily Mail that though most robotics researchers want to make a fully automated and intelligent system, Dustcart was built using a different approach.
"Here, we have a smart robot in a smart environment; the robot 'talks' to its surroundings and the surroundings communicate back. This means the robot has access to a lot more information and computing power," Dario explained.
Though it sounds like Dustcart will be putting your friendly neighborhood garbage man out of business, he still can't operate without real people. Dustcart is monitored via CCTV that streams to a human control centre. The staff steps in if there's an emergency, such as the technology failing or someone trying to make off with the robot.
The Dustcart seems to have been around for a while (there are videos on YouTube that have been there since last year) and the DustBot Website lists the duration of the €2.8 million project as 36 months, however, it doesn't say what date the test ended.
Do you think this would work for your town?
Read more about the Dustcart project on the Daily Mail.