IITians Unveils Dustbin that Comes to you Seeking Garbage

Date:   Wednesday , December 02, 2009

Keeping our surroundings clean has never been this exciting, an interactive dustbin developed by six IIT-Bombay students will not only approach and tell you to put trash into it, but it is also programmed to say ‘thank you’ when you oblige. The device makes use of three sensors programmed to detect the nearest person, align the wheels towards him or her, and ask the person to put garbage lying around into the bin.

The design team comprising Ajay Mittal, Aniket Sarangdhar, Aniruddha Kadam, Mandar Sarnaik, Saurabh Srivastava, and Shaswath V - all second year students of Interaction Design Centre (IDC) at IIT-Bombay - has named the device ‘Sustain-o-Bin.’

Interestingly, the interactive bin is entirely made up of waste material with some ingenious programming and technology support. Its three sensors - an ultrasonic sensor that detects people and other objects, making the bin ‘follow’ people, an infrared sensor that keeps the bin inside the marked border and prevents it from colliding with objects beyond it, and a touch sensor that enables audio feedback whenever trash is dropped into the bin - provide it with the necessary intelligence.

The bin was designed and developed as a course project and later chosen for an international design conference on sustainability held at the IDC. The theme of the event was ‘In a Planet of our Own.’ “Workshops at the event were meant to address the problem of sustainability of designs. There were discussions on design in an interconnected global world. Our Sustain-o-Bin was highly appreciated at the conference. Apart from the three sensors that we have used in the design, the dustbin works on a rechargeable battery,” says Mittal.

Sustain-o-Bin is made up mostly of waste materials, including cardboard taken from boxes in which computers are packed. The body of the bin is covered with old newspapers, which increases its sustainability quotient.