Social Trash Cans

No one is truly incorrigible, including litter bugs. Sometimes, all it takes to change someone’s attitude is a little prodding and a bit of encouragement. For people who don’t really mind where they’re throwing their stuff, there’s the Social Trash Box aka STB. It’s an interactive garbage can that twists, bends, and reminds people not to litter and to throw their trash where it belongs: in the bin.

STB was developed at Toyohashi University’s Interaction and Communications Design Lab. The robot comes equipped with a microprocessor, a video camera where it spots would-be litterers, and a speaker to chide aforementioned litterers.

Embedded motors allow the STB to turn, twist, and bend over, and its pyroelectric infrared sensor enables it to detect people and maneuver around them, if needed. It was primarily made to interact with kids though, so don’t expect to see this thing in the streets anytime soon.

STB engages using interactive social cues and vocal interactions to build a social coupling with children in order to induce their assistance in collecting trash.

You can check it out in action in the video above at the 1:21 mark.