Your Next Garbageman Could Be a Robot

Written by on August 21, 2017 in Sci-Tech, Science with 2 Comments
An artist's depiction of how the trash-hauling robots might operate. Credit: Adrian Wirén, Mälardalens Högskola, Courtesy of Volvo Group

An artist’s depiction of how the trash-hauling robots might operate.
Credit: Adrian Wirén, Mälardalens Högskola, Courtesy of Volvo Group

By Elizabeth Palermo |

Highly efficient robots on wheels could soon be hauling trash in a neighborhood near you.

Related Article: Wow! Scientists Demonstrate Robots Showing Self-Awareness (Video)

Together with universities in Sweden and the United States, Swedish auto manufacturer Volvo is developing these useful robots, which will be able to roll around a neighborhood, pick up waste bins and chuck the trash into the back of garbage trucks.

The project is called Robot-based Autonomous Refuse handling, or ROAR, and while it may have some sanitation workers worried (there are typically human workers on the backs of trucks who manually empty bins), it could be a boon for garbage truck drivers, who would simply need to pull up to the curb and let the robots do the rest. [Super-Intelligent Machines: 7 Robotic Futures]

Drivers will control the bots using an onboard operating system and won’t have to do any of the heavy lifting themselves, according to Volvo.

The refuse robots are part of a larger initiative by the auto company to create “a future with more automation,” Per-Lage Götvall, the ROAR project leader, said in a statement.

To bring ROAR to life, Volvo recruited roboticists from Mälardalen University in Sweden. Students there will help design and build robots that can move discreetly and efficiently from house to house and that are strong enough to pick up heavy bins. Another Swedish institution, Chalmers University of Technology, will work on the overall operating system for ROAR.

Related Article: Japan Begins Experiment Providing Driverless Robot Taxis for the Elderly


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2 Reader Comments

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  1.' Jason Caruso says:

    Hmm, and take employment away from hard working people? How about robots as congressmen?

  2.' Remco Spacko Jansen says:

    How about just one world with only robots and no humans? Maybe there will be global peace to.

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