"Hey, pick up your trash!" No, that wasn't me talking. It was that little robotic trash can. It knows when there's garbage in the vicinity and asks humans to pick the refuse up.
The wheeled Social Trash Box, or STB, robot out of Japan's Toyohashi University of Technology comes equipped with a microprocessor, a video camera, and a speaker for making its desires for cleanliness heard. Motors enable it to twist right and left and bend backward and forward. A pyroelectric infrared sensor lets it detect people's body heat and move toward them, while a distance sensor helps it maneuver around them (and other obstacles). … Read more