This Smart Trash Can, developed by Minoru Kurata, an engineer at a Japanese auto maker, won an Excellence Award at the Japan Media Arts Festival.
“When you toss trash at it, a sensor detects the position of the trash, and sends the information to a PC. The PC calculates where the trash will fall, and communicates it to the can via wireless connection.”
“The trash can has to move autonomously. To achieve that, I created a special mechanism, with a single axis for both the wheel rotation and the change in angle. So even if the wheels rotate, the position of the can itself doesn’t change. That mechanism, the circuitry, and the motor controller all fit within the diameter of the can. If the center of gravity is high, the can will fall over, so I made the can low, narrow, and compact, to keep the center of gravity as low as possible.”