Friday, May 29, 2009

Robotic Bin Men

According to a News24 news item this morning boffins in Italy have developed a robotic rubbish collector.

Customers can send a text message to the robot when they leave out their bin bags and then he/she/it will happily trundle along, scoop up their bin bags and take them to the appropriate trash sorting centre. It sounds great. Bin men on demand. No more rubbish lying around rotting for days on end while we wait for the bin men to finally get round to performing their weekly pick up. One text and you get instant service.

Presumably as many times a day as you need it.

Of course for it to work in the UK there are certain modifications that would have to be made and certain social problems that would have to be overcome.

You just know that the poor little robot would end up mercilessly tagged with graffiti as it went about its business or, worst case scenario, hoofed into the nearest river or dropped off a railway bridge to be neatly (trash) compacted by the 9.25 to Birmingham Moor Street.

So security for the Brit version would have to be beefed up. Armour of some kind. Anti tamper mechanisms. Anti graffiti paint. Smoke canisters and rubber bullets fired out of its electronic anus. A direct line to the ASBO department of the local constabulary. Possibly a random selection of Gene Hunt quotes broadcast through an on-board amplifier to deter potential attackers.

“You’re making as much progress as a spastic in a magnet factory...”

"You look as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot...”

"You so much as belch out of line and I'll have your scrotum on a barbed wire plate..."

That sort of thing.

As for modifying its behaviour to fit in with British bin man culture, this should be easy enough to do.

It would need to be reprogrammed to be as untidy as possible – to spill litter everywhere and not bother to return your bin properly. Instead it could dump your bin in another street entirely so you can play “hunt the bin” for a couple of hours to get it back.

It would have to sing as loudly as possible in a voice so atonal it makes Piers Morgan sound like Frank Sinatra. Something by Brittany Spears. Only with alternative lyrics – rhymes that would make a rugby player blush. And all songs must be sung between 8.30 and 9.00 in the morning so every school kid in the land can receive a true education in uncouthness and vulgarity.

Finally of course the bin bot must be programmed to sift through your rubbish in search of old porno mags and rogue copies of The Sunday Sport that it can wave about in the street and call to its robotic colleagues about.

“Blimey, look at the trash compactor on ‘er...”

“Cor, I wouldn’t mind land-filling that one...”

Etc. Etc.

Yeah. Then it would fit right in. Perfect integration. Nobody would even notice any difference.

See, I should have been a scientist, me.


Owen said...

Yes, definitely, a mad scientist... that you certainly are...

Q : And what did one robot bin collector say to the other ?

A : Hey, it's Friday, let's go down to the pub and get trashed, mate !

Steve said...

Ooh Owen, that was rubbish, mate! ;-)

The Joined up Cook said...

I'd 'refuse' to use such lame jokes. If a scriptwriter dared to write them he'd be binned.

You forgot to mention the bin bot programmed to detect and deal with incorrectly deposited rubbish.

Steve said...

AWB: is that the one that picks it all up and then dumps it at an unofficially recognized fly-tip?

The Joined up Cook said...

I was thinking of the one that refused to take your rubbish because you'd used the wrong bin or put too much rubbish in.

THe thing is, they are rather big these bin bots aren't they.

In the wagon you'd have the driver, the foreman, the one who measures whether or not the bin has been overfilled and the one that checked whether the right rubbish had been put in the right bin.

There wouldn't be room for the bin bot programmed to actually empty the bin.

It sounds like the perfect type of set up for the typical local authority.

Steve said...

Being a local authority bod I'll get right onto it... ;-)

Anonymous said...

As a mad have just been accepted into Dark Child's exclusive 'After The Take Over' club.

Consider yourself hired.



Steve said...

Sweet Cheeks, I feel highly honoured.

Rol said...

Don't get me started on the bin men again. A robot would be most welcome.

Steve said...

Rol: I suppose a robotic bin man has a few pluses going for it: no beer gut or hairy bum crack and it wouldn't expect a day off on Christmas day.

Annie G said...

This post really made me laugh out loud - I think it was your "Smoke canisters and rubber bullets fired out of its electronic anus" that gave me the biggest giggle!!!

I'd love bin robots if they were better looking than the ones round here. Mmm, Brad Pitt and Pierce Brosnan look alikes please, oh and more interesting dialogue than, "'ello darlin' ya put ya dog mess an' grass in the green 'un and ya tater peel in the black 'un....etc"

Steve said...

Annie: your bin men can tell the difference between the green and black bin?!? You obviously have a far more intelligent breed in your area! As for Brad Pitt-a-likes... sadly the bin bot I saw resembled a green washing machine rather than a Hollywood hunk!

KAZ said...

"You look as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot...”Excellent line - just make sure you have no readers from Crete or you may be arrested.

Steve said...

Kaz: I'm sure Gene Hunt would be as disparaging of the Greeks as, well, every other nation - the line "toga wearing moussaka munching poufs" comes to mind. Mind you, he'd be equally disparaging of cross dressing British holiday makers. He's very fair, is Gene.

Anonymous said...

Mad scientist, eh? You are picking some more titles on the this

Although I would also welcome the robot bin men...very much needed in Lancaster !

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Steve - Dragon's Den - now! You're a genius.

Mind you, wonder if it'd still insist that all bins had to be at the end of the driveway? Perhaps you could design an override feature for the unhelpfulness built in.


Steve said...

Janete: as soon as the prototype is working I shall cart it up North for you! ;-)

Laura: given some of the garbage The Dragon's invest their money in, you might be onto something!