File this under “why didn’t I have this idea first?”: RecycleBot is a home automatic waste disposal and recycling system that will scan the barcode whatever you throw away, and then shuffle the item around internally so it’s automatically sorted into the right material category, to be recycled later.

Simply scan a bottle of water, and the RecycleBot will check its internet database to determine that it is made of plastic, and then place it in the compartment designated for plastic. All the user needs to do is scan their rubbish and pop it in the single hole of the RecycleBot; there’s no multiple, colour-coded bins to take up space or waste time.

And like food databases found in apps such as MyFitnessPal, if you find an item that isn’t on RecycleBot’s database, you can add it yourself.

The makers have taken advantage of the advanced innards of this robotic bin, because it does a bit more than sort and hold onto your rubbish: it can create shopping lists, provide raw data for recycling companies, and make taxation on waste collection (where applicable) easier to calculate.

According to the project’s Open Electronics page, the next version of RecycleBot will have a trash compactor to increase the amount of waste it can hold without making itself bigger, as well as special sensors that can automatically detect a material’s composition, in place of the barcode scanner.

This project is tied together by an Arduino and a Yun Shield and built in such a way that will slip into any home’s kitchen undetected. The RecycleBot was recently shown off at Maker Faire Rome and really encompasses making: using simple parts to create something greater, crowdsourcing data and having future plans to improve a design.

The RecycleBot is just a prototype at this stage so don’t expect to see it at your local Builders Warehouse anytime soon, but it’s a great idea that we hope will some day go commercial.

[Source – Open Electronics]