Every once in a while, a technological innovation so advanced comes along that we, as a society, might as well just take a break from trying to invent anything else for a few years. It’s like, what’s the point?
The most recent of these marvels is an autonomous trash can on wheels that communicates wirelessly with what appears to be Microsoft’s motion-sensing Kinect camera to position itself underneath pieces of garbage you toss in its general vicinity.
According to DigInfo TV, “This Smart Trash Can, developed by Minoru Kurata, an engineer at a Japanese auto maker, won an Excellence Award at the Japan Media Arts Festival.” According to me, “This Smart Trash Can, developed by Minoru Kurata, an engineer at a Japanese auto maker, should win a Nobel Prize.” I don’t care if they have to create a new prize category.
In the above video, we can see Kurata tossing crumpled paper up into the air while the trash can swiftly springs into action like a punt returner, outfielder, or Double Dare contestant trying to catch a raw egg in a bowl attached to his or her helmet during a physical challenge.
“Surely, there are drawbacks!” you bellow, grabbing both sides of your computer screen as though you’re trying to shake some sense into your drunken roommate when two single members of the opposite sex show up at your apartment unexpectedly. Yes, there are drawbacks.
For starters, the can has to have a low enough center of gravity that it doesn’t tip over. We’re talking about small, office-friendly wastebaskets here, so your dreams of dropping a Hefty bag full of a week’s worth of trash from your third-story window down to the sidewalk below haven’t yet been realized. (YET.)
Secondly, “The probability that the trash will go in is not very high; only 10-20%,” Kurata says. “I want to either improve the sensor, or upgrade the control by reducing the error through a program.”
Kurata is working to patent the technology for the Smart Trash Can, so we’ll hopefully see this as a commercial product someday. Even at 10-20% accuracy, I’d rip a hole in my pants pocket trying to get my wallet out quickly enough to place an order.
Here are 10 other important, world-changing innovations:
- Finally, a Refrigerator with a Sparkling Water Dispenser — Make Your Own Soda, Too
- Finally, a Tiny Robotic Vacuum for Smartphones and Tablets
- Finally, a Ramen Bowl with a Built-in iPhone Dock
- Android-Controlled Toilet Makes Your Non-Android Toilet Seem like a Throne of Spikes, Sandpaper and Lameness
- Finally, a Coffin with Built-in Speakers and Spotify Connection
- Edible iPhone 5 Case Only Costs $81
- Go Home, Folks: ‘Guitar Pee’ Urinal Tops Everything (Times Infinity)
- MIT Scientists Figure Out How to Get Ketchup Out of the Bottle
- Scientists Finally Create Robotic Buttocks That React to Human Touch
- Finally, a Bluetooth Fridge Magnet That Orders Pizza with a Single Touch