Robot garbage cart set to hit Italian streets

Pisa, Italy – An Italian team has unveiled a robot designed to take household rubbish away on demand.

The Dustbot can be summoned by an SMS message at any time of day, and is designed to work in narrow streets which are difficult for large refuse trucks to negotiate. It can take up to 40kg of garbage. The device can also be used to sweep the streets.

It can navigate through a combination of pre-loaded maps and GPS, and a gyroscope keeps it upright. It also monitors pollution through a number of air quality sensors.

The EU-funded project is coordinated by the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa. The inventors say they hope the robot will replace fixed-time rubbish collection services. It will be launched in Italy later this year, and local authorities around the world have expressed interest in the device, including in gadget-loving Japan.