davethetechguy
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Robotic recycling bin project

Sun Apr 28, 2019 1:57 pm

Hi as a school project we are making a robotic recycling bin that detects what rubbish has been put in and then displays it on an old android tablet where the school student can then put their name in and depending on what rubbish you put in it gives you more points, then puts all of that data on a local website so the teachers can view who put the most litter in. this can be an intensive to the students to recycle as they can get physical achievements E.G. sweets or something along those lines

Has anyone got any ideas or suggestions on what sensors and programs to use (we are thinking of using MIT app inventor to design the android app and a raspberry pi 3 to control the sensors as it has inbuilt Bluetooth)


Thanks Dave :D

Icosagon
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Re: Robotic recycling bin project

Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:08 am

Hello Dave

I didnt mean to disappoint you but its hard to detect what garbage have been put.
If you use a camera to detect what waste have been put, it will be harder to recognize the garbage.
You'll have to use opencv to recognize garbage and train to recognize garbage

PiGraham
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Re: Robotic recycling bin project

Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:42 am

It is a difficult project. For printed packaging you could use Pi Camera or a cheap wand or reader to read barcodes (UPC code). You could assume that any product ID was only the packaging and create a database of what class of packaging each product uses. That's all a lot of work. A quick search didn't turn up any online resources for finding packaging info from barcodes.


I think barcode scanning is your best option because it is cheap and easy to implement and gives a direct count of number of items presented to the scanner. In addition everyone in the scheme can have a barcoded card that they scan at the recycling point(s) to identify themselves. No need for screens or keyboards.

Example cheap scanner ~£11
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Barcode-Scan ... SwWiJck0dw

Many will operate like a USB keyboard automatically 'typing' the number in the barcode. Should be very easy to use with a Pi.

You could start with data collection and a simple count and keep working on analysis to turn the UPC codes into information on package types.


Detecting materials is hard.

You could use a metal detector to identify cans, foil etc.
You could possibly distinguish between ferrous (steel food cans) and non ferrous (soda cans, food trays) metals from effects on magnetic fields. Maybe neodymium magnets and hall sensors.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUYVCX-irbA

Plastics I think are too hard. There are commercial sensors but I suspect they will be very expensive
https://www.idec.com/caen/technology_so ... nsing.html


Good luck

Andyroo

Re: Robotic recycling bin project

Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:40 am

Why not use a wide bin with multiple flaps (lift up type) on the lid?

Each flap is for a given type of material - tins, card, plastic etc.

Each flap has a simple reed switch like a window alarm sensor then you just count the openings to work out the score.
You could use a small laser / ultrasonic sensor underneath the flap to detect something has been dropped in (not saying folk may cheat and stand there opening the flap without putting bits in :lol: :roll: :lol: )...

Maybe add a button on top to say ‘Done’ and a rf-id reader to identify the person depositing the rubbish?

Watch out for data protection issues if you are identifying students electronically - the school should be able to advise on this :o

PiGraham
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Re: Robotic recycling bin project

Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:56 am

Andyroo wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:40 am
Why not use a wide bin with multiple flaps (lift up type) on the lid?

Each flap is for a given type of material - tins, card, plastic etc.
That's a great idea. K.I.S.S.
Use the student's awesome material discrimination ability to sort the materials.

Andyroo

Re: Robotic recycling bin project

Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:00 am

PiGraham wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:56 am
...
Use the student's awesome material discrimination ability to sort the materials.
Till they work out it’s one sweet for cans and two for paper and dump everything in the paper flap :lol:

Getting a right cynic in my old age (or more wise given my wife works in a school).

PiGraham
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Re: Robotic recycling bin project

Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:03 am

You should definitely think about how people might cheat such a system. If there is any incentive there's an incentive to cheat.
If you give more points for some materials than others expect to get wrong materials in the bins. If you can score without actually leaving recyclable material people will do it.

It might be a good idea to fit a camera inside the bin to photograph whatever it is that triggers the sensor. At least you would have an option to check up on people after the fact and exclude the worst offenders or dock points. If Jack Sparrow has registered lots of points but most of the pictures registered to him show an empty hand waving at the sensor you know what to do.

PhatFil
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Location: Oxford UK

Re: Robotic recycling bin project

Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:26 pm

what are the waste types you are collecting?

Object size and shape could be used to filter the correct materials, and material specific tests could be employed to accept/reject items perhaps like:
2 pins pointed downward but slightly obscuring a circular path for cans should scrape off external paint/lacquer and make an electrical connection with the metal of authentic cans when passed through.


im sure your aware sorting is a significant challenge and cost when it comes to waste recycling,

davethetechguy
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Re: Robotic recycling bin project

Wed May 01, 2019 4:30 pm

Thank you all for the replies :D :P . we was thinking of having plastic, paper, and metal. realy just the main litter in school and i think the idea with multiple flaps and a lazer to stop cheating is great. :D

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thagrol
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Re: Robotic recycling bin project

Wed May 01, 2019 7:23 pm

Whatever method you use consider this: any incentive you implement is, essentially, money. I can think of few things that can lead to more problems more quickly over mistakes (737 Max not excepted).

For this system to work and be trusted you need to think about much more than just whether the correct rubbish goes in the correct bin.

You system has to:
  • Be reliable
  • Handle all failure modes. That includes faulty sensors, sudden power loss, lack of network connectivity, software crashes, ...
  • Be accurate. Both in terms of how much rubbish of which type, and of which user deposited it.
  • Be secure against software attacks
  • Be secure against physical attacks. E.g. SD card removal and replacement
  • Be cheat proof
  • Comply with data protection
  • Comply with health and safety regulations (using lasers could be a problem here)
And don't fall into the trap of assuming that because something works under ideal conditions it will work in the wild. That's by no means a given.

As others have said, this is not a straight forward project.
Arguing with strangers on the internet since 1993.

Icosagon
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Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:32 pm

Re: Robotic recycling bin project

Fri May 03, 2019 5:38 am

davethetechguy wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 4:30 pm
Thank you all for the replies :D :P . we was thinking of having plastic, paper, and metal. realy just the main litter in school and i think the idea with multiple flaps and a lazer to stop cheating is great. :D
You can detect objects by reflection. Put a torch or led in it and LDR to see whether the object reflects.
And you can detect metal based on whether the object conduct electricity. :D

Paper doesn't relect, non conductive
Plastic may reflect, non conductive
Metal will reflect , conductive

davethetechguy
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Re: Robotic recycling bin project

Tue May 07, 2019 5:24 pm

we will have a look to see what the best options are and will inform you all on how it goes :P :D

PiGraham
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Re: Robotic recycling bin project

Wed May 08, 2019 7:41 am

Icosagon wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 5:38 am
davethetechguy wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 4:30 pm
Thank you all for the replies :D :P . we was thinking of having plastic, paper, and metal. realy just the main litter in school and i think the idea with multiple flaps and a lazer to stop cheating is great. :D
You can detect objects by reflection. Put a torch or led in it and LDR to see whether the object reflects.
And you can detect metal based on whether the object conduct electricity. :D

Paper doesn't relect, non conductive
Plastic may reflect, non conductive
Metal will reflect , conductive
A couple of caveats:
Direct electrical contact to metal objects is problematic because it requires intimate contact with the metal, which may be covered with paint or other refuse or just the geometry of the object may mean contact probes don't make contact. A wound loop metal detector is probably a better option since it avoids all these issues. Handling of each piece could be very complex to make that work.

Paper can be bright white and return a lot of light. It's often not shiny, although some paper has a high gloss finish. Telling the difference between a matt surface and a glossy surface will take more than just an LED and a photoresistor. What you probably measure is then the relative diffuse and reflective properties of a patch of fairly flat surface which may not tell you much about what the material is made of.

Search "Paper Whiteness, Brightness & Shade"
Search "Specular and diffuse reflection"

PhatFil
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Location: Oxford UK

Re: Robotic recycling bin project

Wed May 08, 2019 11:05 pm

perhaps a system that photographs the item AND its depositor with big bold letter signage to inform and impress on users that the incorrect posting of waste will result in a penalty of negative collection points. perhaps even a wall of shame where they are named and shamed??

Perhaps just the dire warnings themselves would be enough, going by the £shop cardboard cut out policeman success in thwarting shoplifting ;)

stick a pi in there somewhere fo flash the odd led here and there and you can keep a straight face telling folk there is a pi inside.. it needn't do anything if the warning posters are designed well enough ;)

It worked for TV detector vans for decades.. I saw in the back of one once it held a chair and a table on which sat a fat ream of green n white striped printout listing tv licences and a copy of the electoral roll !!

Rahulvijayan
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2020 4:34 pm

Re: Robotic recycling bin project

Sat Mar 14, 2020 4:42 pm

I have found an array of sensors that can hopefully tell is something is trash or recycling. I am planning on making this a product that I will be planning on selling. I would like to work with someone on this because I need help, I can't do this on my own. I also have a raspberry pi camera and will use AI technology to hopefully make this easier I will disclose the sensors when I have a partner. The sensors can tell if it is plastic or metal or paper or wood and my plan is using a good motherboard the sensors can tell what item it is and the send the information to the motor which will flip the platform it is on to either the trash side of the recycling side. This will hopefully be solar powered in the future. Whoever wants to work with me please email me at Rahulvijyan184@gmail.com.

ellliotwoods
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Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:48 pm

Re: Robotic recycling bin project

Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:51 pm

@ Rahulvijayan

Send me an email at ponchopunchy@gmail.com. I have created an AI model on the Raspberry Pi to classify Plastic, Glass, Metal, Paper, Cardboard, and Trash. Let's team up and make a badass product.

ellliotwoods
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Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:48 pm

Re: Robotic recycling bin project

Fri May 01, 2020 1:28 am

Rahulvijayan wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 4:42 pm
I have found an array of sensors that can hopefully tell is something is trash or recycling. I am planning on making this a product that I will be planning on selling. I would like to work with someone on this because I need help, I can't do this on my own. I also have a raspberry pi camera and will use AI technology to hopefully make this easier I will disclose the sensors when I have a partner. The sensors can tell if it is plastic or metal or paper or wood and my plan is using a good motherboard the sensors can tell what item it is and the send the information to the motor which will flip the platform it is on to either the trash side of the recycling side. This will hopefully be solar powered in the future. Whoever wants to work with me please email me at Rahulvijyan184@gmail.com.
Send me an email at ponchopunchy@gmail.com. I have created an AI model on the Raspberry Pi to classify Plastic, Glass, Metal, Paper, Cardboard, and Trash. Let's team up and make a badass product.

Heater
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Re: Robotic recycling bin project

Fri May 01, 2020 1:48 am

What is this?

Two first time posters replying to a year old thread.

Both claiming to be able to do something that seems pretty much impossible.

Neither stating anything useful.

Nothing much to do with the Pi.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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Botspot
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Re: Robotic recycling bin project

Fri May 01, 2020 2:02 am

davethetechguy wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 4:30 pm
and a lazer to stop cheating is great. :D
I can just imagine a student's reaction after the recycling bin tells them: "IF YOU CHEAT ONE MORE TIME, I WILL HAVE TO USE MY LASER ON YOU"
:o :shock: :? :lol: :lol:
Ever wished you could "open" a RaspiOS .img file? Well now you can! I've developed Pi-Power-Tools, the only RaspiOS img editor on the planet.
https://github.com/Botspot/Pi-Power-Tools
Want to try it out?

Code: Select all

wget -O - https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Botspot/Pi-Power-Tools/master/update | bash

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