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Manufacturing Minute: Volvo’s Trash-Collecting Robots

In this episode, Volvo’s ROAR robots plan to take over the stinky job of trash collecting.

The Volvo Group is currently working on a joint venture with three universities and the waste recycling company Renova to develop a robot that interacts with a garbage truck and its driver to pick up your trash.

The project is called ROAR, for Robot-based Autonomous Refuse handling, and the goal is to develop a robot that, with the help of instructions from a truck’s operating system, can collect garbage and recycling bins in a neighborhood, bring them to the collection truck and empty them. All of this occurs under the supervision of the truck’s driver, who can thereby avoid heavy lifting and continue playing Candy Crush from the driver’s seat.

The purpose of ROAR is to demonstrate how humanity will use smart machines to assist with a broad range of activities in society in the near future. Renova is expected to test it on a vehicle sometime around June 2016.  


Do you see robots becoming the norm in everyday life? What applications could you see becoming more automated like this?

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