Need to Know

AI-equipped TrashBot Uses Sensors to Sort Trash

Clean Robotics developed trash-sorting robots to determine whether items are trash or recyclable.

Clean Robotics, a startup accelerator in East Liberty, Pa., that began in 2015, has created an artificial intelligence-equipped trash can that sorts items using cameras and sensors.

The company developed what it calls "TrashBots" to track weight, condition and makeup, and then determine whether an item is trash or recyclable.

When presented with two bins in which to place recycling, Clean Robotics found people choose correctly only 30 percent of the time on average. And that's because a lot of the items that are put into recycling bins aren’t actually recyclable—mainly due to contamination from food or liquid.

The Pittsburg Post-Gazette has more:

Humans, it seems, are not good at dealing with their trash.

We’re pretty good at making it, to be fair. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates every person generates 4.4 solid pounds of waste a day.

But when it comes to disposing of it and correctly sorting waste and recyclables? That’s not one of our strong suits. Soon, it may not even matter. Here to help is Point Breeze-based startup Clean Robotics, which expects its artificial intelligence-equipped trash-sorting machine — appropriately named the TrashBot — will eventually be widely used.

Read the full story here.

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