Ever struggled to find a bin at a station? A futuristic pilot project led by France’s national rail operator, SNCF, could make it a problem of the past.
An autonomous robotic bin on wheels is to begin a week-long trial at Gare de Lyon station in Paris this month.
The prototype, known as B.A.R.Y.L – ‘la poubelle mobile’, has been developed by Immersive Robotics, a startup based in Boulogne-Billancourt, and AREP DesignLab.
SNCF will put B.A.R.Y.L to work between December 5 – 10 at Gare de Lyon before testing it out at stations across the country throughout 2017.
Like the domestic robotic vacuum cleaners that are available, B.A.R.Y.L will be restricted to roaming a defined area. It will use a sensor to avoid obstacles and sound warnings to passengers that get in its way. B.A.R.Y.L can also detect when it is full, at which point it makes its way back to base to be emptied.
SNCF says that over time Baryl will learn how to identify people with litter and move towards them.
Designers took inspiration from Star Wars’ R2-D2 and WALL-E: Pixar’s take on a futuristic trash-collecting robot.