Take Out the Trash from Your Couch with an R/C Bin

Donald Bell

I make stuff, play music, and sometimes make stuff that plays music. Donut enthusiast. Let's talk about Arduino, BEAM robotics, skateboarding, Buckminster Fuller, art bots and blinking lights.

64 Articles

By Donald Bell

I make stuff, play music, and sometimes make stuff that plays music. Donut enthusiast. Let's talk about Arduino, BEAM robotics, skateboarding, Buckminster Fuller, art bots and blinking lights.

64 Articles

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Say goodbye to the drudgery of rolling your garbage bin out to the curb. With Colin Furze’s remote controlled “wheelie bin”, you can (safely?) pilot your vile waste to the curb from the warm comfort of home.

I love this idea, but let’s be honest, Colin’s design is more of an expensive practical joke than a glimpse at the garbage can of the future. He’s using the guts from an electric wheelchair (motor, gearbox, joystick, perhaps even the wheels), along with a pair of car batteries and two RC servos to translate X/Y control to the joystick.

Bin Components

Here you can see the components that make up Colin’s R/C bin. Repurposed wheelchair parts are on the left, along with the servos for controlling the joystick. Batteries take up most of the space on the right.

Not only is that a lot of valuable gear that you wouldn’t want accidentally pitched into a garbage truck, but it takes up a lot of room. It’s also not quite a garbage-resistant setup. One soggy banana peel across the battery terminals, and you’ll have both the garbage truck and a fire truck in your driveway.

Personally, I wonder if you could adapt a hoverboard to handle this. Yes, I know they don’t have such a great track record for fire safety, but their use of motorized wheel hubs could eliminate a lot of the bulk.

Wheelie Bin

Or perhaps we take the electronics out of the garbage can altogether. Maybe what we really need is Roomba for garbage cans. Something like Amazon’s Kiva system, but for automatic curbside delivery of your trash.

Or maybe I should just get off the couch and take out the garbage.

What would you do?