They don't do this because the trucks are outfitted with a big "robotic"
grasper that literally picks the "can" up and dumps it into the truck.
And sets it back down, ostensibly in the same place where it picked it
up from. (at least here in So. Cal, and probably lots of other places.)
Designing/building/implementing something like that that could handle
as unpredictable of a load as bags would be prohibitively expensive.
But building a little motorized cart that could carry the can to the
curb should be almost trivially easy - just have it follow a wire, or
for that matter, a slot! If you get snow, then a snow-blower attachment
could be an add-on. ;-) But seriously, this is sounding increasingly
simple - a low-profile 4-wheel dolly, with a large wheelbase (for
stability), and a reversible motor, like a wheelchair. The technology has
been in place for decades, there just hasn't been the volume to get the
price down to pennies yet.
And to keep anybody from stealing it, tether it. :-)
Does the bot need to be free standing? Can you put it on a track? If you
are using the guide wire method you would wind up digging some kind of
channel to bury it anyway. Another thought is to think of a similar
methodology as a cable car, rather than mounting the locomotion onto the
bot, mount it at the bots 'station'.
just a thought... material movement machinery has been around a long time,
perhaps looking through a company that sells this type of equipment may
spark some ideas...
A track would be fine; no steering would be necessary. But tracks are
expensive and require installation. This bot should work in the common
situation of a driveway leading the curb. The current state of
technology is advanced enough so that the navigation can be provided by
small a video camera, a computer, a steering servo, and some software.
For this first one, I'm pretty much settled on the chassis being built
from the Harbor Freight cart
I don't know how to accomplish the steering and navigation yet.
Patriot P130 platform automatically guided vehicle.
Probably too expensive and too heavy duty, but check the used market.
Anyway, that's basically what you need to do the job.
Here's a smaller variant on that theme:
This is a smaller AGV for use in warehouse order-picking.
On Fri, 20 Jan 2006 10:32:21 +0000, Nehmo Sergheyev wrote:
I was thinking that this could be done surprisingly simple.
Sounds like a line follower robot. Simply provide a line to
the curb. Put an ultrasonic/IR sensor package to detect
something/someone around so it won't bump into and another to
not fall off the curb. Could be put on a timer so that it would
follow the line to the curb at a certain time and when the trash
is taken off (the weight is lightened) it would follow the line
back. I don't think this would be all that technically challenging.
Perhaps there are other issues that I am not thinking about but
this would probably get you 80% there. But this is what I came
up with off the top of my head.
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