Sat, Jun 22, 2019 - Page 2 News List

University team develops trash can that automatically sorts recyclables

Staff writer, with CNA

A smart garbage can that uses artificial intelligence to identify and sort recyclable trash created by a research team from National Tsing Hua University is displayed on Tuesday at a news conference in Hsinchu County.

Photo: CNA

National Tsing Hua University on Tuesday introduced a “smart” garbage can that can automatically identify and sort recyclable trash.

Through built-in imaging sensors, the machine is able to distinguish and separate four types of garbage: metal cans, plastic bottles, glass and paper containers, said Yang Yu-hsuan (楊宇軒), a doctoral student in the university’s artificial intelligence research team.

To enable machine learning, the team snapped tens of thousands of photographs of specific recyclables so that the machine could recognize and drop the waste into the correct chambers, Yang said.

The smart garbage can can identify and sort each recyclable item in about three seconds, the team said.

With the help of modern technology, sorting garbage can be done quickly, thereby eliminating the need to separate trash by hand, while increasing efficiency in waste management, it said.

The machine can also learn from its mistakes to avoid repeating errors, Yang said.

The team hopes to integrate EasyCard functionality into the machine to encourage more people to help with recycling through the adoption of a redemption scheme for every piece of trash discarded, College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science dean Huang Nen-fu (黃能富) said.

The first smart trash can is being installed at Hsinchu County Hall.

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