Technology

This robot turns collecting rubbish on waterways into a multiplayer online game

The game will be played online.

Founders of a not-for-profit for floating gardens in Chicago has devised a clever way to get rid of rubbish in the city’s waterways by making the activity into an online game.

Instead of a virtual game, players using the Trash Robot will be cleaning real rubbish from the river and dropping it off at a point for humans to collect and sort.

The robot has mounted cameras and will connect to a nearby wi-fi point, allowing multiple players to collect rubbish and gain points from afar.

The team behind the Trash Robot, Urban Rivers, is crowdfunding on Kickstarter, seeking £3,589 to build a second prototype and install a wi-fi point to get the project off the ground and into the water. The total is currently at £1,950, with 11 days of fundraising to go.

The idea for the robot came from a previous crowdfunding initiative the Urban Rivers team ran, to build a floating garden to help keep the river clean.

Unfortunately, once the garden was planted and thriving, the team found litter was making its way in and disturbing wildlife. After trying to collect the rubbish themselves, the team brainstormed ideas and came up with the Trash Robot.

“We really hope that one day this game is just so boring because there’s no more trash left to clean,” says Nick Wesley, one of the project’s co-founders in the fundraising pitch video.

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