A Robotic Pathfinding Trash Can which can locate a "home base" (recharge platform) in the garage next to the inside door and also find the route to the curb at a preset time.
The Trash Can should be the type (hard plastic) used by various/numerous city / metro refuse companies
and be hardened against bumping and dropping from at least a few feet height. The ability to self-right (stand back up if left fallen over by the trash-truck) would also be a desireable if not difficult to implement design.
The software could be quite simplistic inthat an invisible "line" could be "painted" on the driveway along one side to the final "pickup point." Two sensors on the underside would simply read this line and keep the bot/can from getting lost. The "pickup point" should be a rather large square so that no matter where the trash-truck leaves the can, it is able to use a search pattern along the "edge of the square" to find the "edge" of the line and return to base/recharge point.
The bottom part of the trashcan should be modified with more sturdy wheels which can roll over uneven terrain and perhaps a ball wheel on the very front. Max weight could be in the 50 lbs (more for a "commercial" model) and the battery would not have to be very large because upon a single trip it would return to "base/recharage."
This would not mean you do not have to take out the trash, but you would simply take it to the inside of most modern home garages to the inside trashcan. The automated trash can robot would take care of "curb delivery" and more advanced models could even contain more features (self cleaning in some way?)
Max cost should be around $350.00 which is not extactly hard to meet with a good supply line, standardization of parts, and standardization of build. Parts should be quality but also on the low end, basic harddrive of very low space, basic programming language, low end chipset (AMD's low end) and low end board. All hardened against dropping and weather through rubber washers and impact distribution materials in the bottom "guts" of the trashcan. Should not reduce the space available to place actual trash by more than a few inches if properly built.