A remote-controlled floating trash-collecting robot is being pushed as a Kickstarter campaign aimed to clean the Chicago River. The robot is controlled by a web browser so anyone with an internet connection can access it and contribute to the cleaning.
The project aims to make a waste collection game and will invite everyone to take turns controlling the machine earning points as they collect the garbage. The trash-collecting robot has onboard cameras so the players can see where it is going. It works the same as a remote-controlled vehicle.
The trash-collecting robot or known as Trash Robot by the creators Urban River is looking for $5,000 in funding. The money will be used to improve the first prototype and the new version will get a base station for dropping off garbage and the WiFi range will be improved along with the addition of GPS tracking. Urban Rivers pledge to make the whole project open-source so that others also contribute to cleaning up waterways.
“All additional funds will go towards further prototyping and experimentation,” Urban Rivers writes on its Kickstarter page. “If we raise over $10,000 we will have the ability to have more than one robot in the river, along with greater flexibility with the accessories we attach to the bot.”
The team understands that this project is not free from risk as it could fall victim to vandalism and theft but the plan is to tether the machine and to use its GPS to limit the movement. Pledges start at $10 and will allow you early access to try out the robot and a pledge of $1,000 will let you rename the robot.
Trash is a recognized problem in the Chicago River. Writing in the Chicago Sun Times on March 11, Sally Fletcher describes “an inordinate amount of garbage in the water, which is dangerous to wildlife and repellent to the people who live in and visit Chicago.”
Check out the robot in the video below: