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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.
(?) A brief history of Trash Can Robots:
[Amos Kito, Jun 05 2005]
How to build it:
Place (or bolt) a trash can on it, and you're done! [Amos Kito, Jun 05 2005]
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||Doesn't your garage have a door? Also, even if it could roll over uneven terrain, surely this would spill the trash inside? You also may want a slightly more specific name for the idea.
||I love this idea, purely because it's up there as one of my least liked chores. However the bin men in my area would be very likely to break it just because.
||This could be coupled with trash cans in the house. The large can in the garage would have next to it a lifting device of some sort. The smaller trashcans in the house, when the weight limit was reached, would use a series of paths built into the walls to travel to the mother can. You would have to have very thick walls to accomodate such a system but since I like adobe houses that shouldnt be a problem.
Now if you could only find a way to automatically replace trash bags.