There's this huge annual street party for St. Patrick's Day at Waterloo and we were shocked at the amount of trash that was left on the street. The fact that there were so many recyclable items on the street along with the trash inspired us to build a autonomous robot to collect and sort both.

What it does

Cleans up a street by autonomously collecting and sorting recyclables and garbage.

How we built it

Custom built a gripper and a flap for sorting into two bins controlled by servos. On the bottom of the robot are 4 geared brushless DC motors. A webcam is attached at the front for object detection and recognition.

Challenges we ran into

The arduino part of the system was built on a windows machine, feature extraction and tracking was on a mac, and contour detection for object detection was built on linux. While all parts (mechanical, electrical, and software) of the system works perfectly, we didn't have enough time to re implement serial communication on linux for the arduino since we recognized the problem shortly before the end of the hackathon.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We feel the software we accomplished was techinically challenging, and considering that it and the data collected to train it was done in 24 hours, it's fairly robust and could most likely been a hack on it's own.

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