Planet Robotics KNAB-Inspired Project

FLL is an international LEGO Robotics competition, teams all across the globe have to solve a real world problems, build and program robots to do tasks on a field mat, and most importantly work together as a team.

The theme for FIRST LEGO League(FLL) challenge this season is City Shaper. All teams have to do a research project in the broad area of ‘problems related to public spaces‘. Planet Robotics team has participated in Keep North Attleboro Beautiful for last 2 years and know first hand about the amount of trash that collects in public spaces such as parks and ponds and downtown.
Planet Robotics team was fortunate to be mentored by Ms. Marsha Goldstein, founder of KNAB. We learned from her about the her motivation behind KNAB, various programs by KNAB, trash management, how and where does trash collect, preventive strategies by effective government policy, challenging goal of changing habits of a generation.

Planet Robotics noticed that sometimes trash cans are overflowing with trash (think weekend, 4th of July, Labor Day, summer). Everyone wants to make the right choices but they don’t know where to dispose of trash when the trash can is full. So the team is working on designing a smart trash can that detect when it is 80% full and pings an alerts to a Waste Management professional about its status and location on a smart phone app, that way they can address it with priority. Its easier to keep public spaces clean if the litter is in the can. The design is based on Ultrasonic sensor, micro controller based Arduino, WiFi module sending alerts to app with GPS location and status. A typical message will read ‘trash can at location 14 is almost full (red), please refresh cans’.

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