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Encouraging children to discard their garbage doesn’t have to be a chore thanks to the Sociable Trash Box (STB). As though modeled after Wall-E himself, it is a robotic garbage can that wobbles around a space in search of litter. Of course, the lumbering movements of the Sociable Trash Box requires the help of those around it.
Developed by researchers at Toyohashi University’s Interaction and Communications Design Lab, the Sociable Trash Box has been outfitted with a microprocessor (video camera), which does direct it to potential litterers. Once spotted, it moves towards them and chides them into doing the right thing. Fun and adorable, the robotic garbage can specifically targets children. As written by the creators, “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.”