New garbage collecting robots that will keep your neighbourhood clean by picking up all the trash, may soon become a real thing.
The Volvo Group, a Swedish multinational manufacturing company, will produce these new robots with the help of universities in the United States and Sweden. The robots will move on wheels around the neighbourhood, collect all the trash, and throw it into the garbage trucks.
Robot-based Autonomous Refuse, or ROAR, is the name of this new project. Although using robots do to the ‘dirty work’ may be a great innovation for many, some sanitation workers are worried that they might lose their jobs, since normally they are the ones who empty the bins manually.
According to Volvo, the garbage truck drivers will use an operating system in order to control every move of the robots.
Per-Lage Götvall, the project leader of the Robot-based Autonomous Refuse, stated that these robots are part of a bigger project which intends to make a more technology-friendly future.
Students, who study at the Mälardalen University in Sweden and the Swedish Chalmers University of Technology, will help with the Robot-based Autonomous Refuse. The Mälardalen University students will help Volvo design and assemble the new robots, in a way that will make the robots powerful enough to lift up trash cans, and to move from house to house when collecting the garbage.
“Chalmers has for many years developed the technology for the control and coordination of autonomous systems,” Petter Falkman, an associate professor of automation at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, stated.
Volvo also recruited students from the United States to help with the Robot-based Autonomous Refuse project. Those at the Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute – which is part of the Pennsylvania State University – were asked to design a virtual system, as well as a control panel for the truck drivers, which will help them keep track of the robots.
Renova, the recycling and waste management company in Sweden, will also help the ROAR project by designing and building garbage trucks in which the new automated system can be incorporated.
By June 2016, the project will be ready for testing, experts say.
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