Robot Take Out Your Trash: A drone and a small robot on four wheels are teaming up to become an automated garbage maker. The ROAR project, led by Volvo, is studying how to automate waste management. The system it comes with is ROARY, a small wheeled garbage picker whose job is to grab the trash and bring it to the garbage truck.
But ROARY doesn’t get the bin itself. It’s entirely up to the drones hovering above, whose job it is to spot not just the trash cans, but any obstructions, and relay their positions to ROARY below. Afterward, Robert’s own eyes finally kick in, helping to guide him to the trash and lift him up, to the truck.
Once the box is on the truck, the truck itself has some small AI systems. It must recognize that the box is safe to lift, using onboard cameras that can also detect nearby people and other objects and make an emergency stop.
The project is in its early stages, and what you see above is the first full demonstration. A lot of changes will happen between now and then. But it’s not hard to imagine that, someday, ROARY and his ilk will clean up city parks, collect municipal trash, or take on other similar tasks.