How would you like to throw a piece of crumpled up paper at the wastebasket on the floor, and regardless of where you threw it, it would make a clean shot to score you 2 points? Would having a wastebasket that is better at catching your garbage than you are at aiming be cheating, or would it make things more interesting? This ordinary looking trashcan holds a secret inside. It’s powered by a Kinect, and it is a high tech trashcan that will surprise you.
It’s called the Smart Trash Can, and it was created by a Japanese engineer named Minoru Kurata. It recently won an award at the Japan Media Arts Festival. For those of you who think this is just another way for us to become lazy, think again. Try to think of the concept and the technology behind this rather than just the application.
First of all, this high tech wastebasket has wheels on the bottom of it obviously. Next, Minoru hacked a Kinect so it can detect the movement of objects in the air and determine where they will most likely land. This information is sent from a PC to the wastebasket via a wireless connection. This sends the wastebasket on a mad dash to catch the trash, no matter where it might land.
Even with all that high tech stuff in this trashcan, it seems as if creating the mechanism with a single axis to rotate the wheels was one of the most complicated parts. It’s important that the wastebasket not tip over when it’s whisking around, and Minoru created a special system which keeps the center of gravity as low as possible. Right now, the success rate is not as high as Minoru would like, and he’s working to improve that.
Watch this video and be mesmerized by a trashcan. It almost looks like a new kind of virtual pet that feeds on trash.