Students of American School of Bombay innovate ‘smart garbage cans’

The innovation adds intelligence to garbage collection by leveraging the latest technologies like IOT, GPS, mobile communication and robotics, says Lalit Wadhwani.

When Kunaal and Aman – both students of American School of Bombay (ASB) were given an assignment by the school, they thought of something quite unusual. They undertook to devise an intelligent garbage bin that leverages technologies like IOT (Internet of Things) GPS, mobile and robotics. They came up with the concept of building an Intelligent Trash Can called the ‘Smart Can’. They were inspired by Prime Minster Narendra Modi when they saw him take up the broom and sweep the street as part of his Swachh Bharat program.

This project was designed and conceived of by Kunaal Bhargava and Aman Bajaj, 11th Grade students at the American School of Bombay (ASB) in Mumbai.  Both Kunaal and Aman decided to do their bit for the Swachch Bharat program and they decided to focus on the malaise of both building and government authorities not emptying out garbage from trash cans in their communities in Mumbai.

They decided to use their knowledge and expertise which they had acquired during the course module of programming and robotics at ASB and they decided to create a technology-driven Smart Can to improve waste collection and enhance hygienic conditions in their neighbourhoods and the rest of Mumbai and India.

The Smart Can is designed to shut itself when almost full and send a text message saying “it is full – come collect” to the smart phone of a waste management person or entity associated with a neighbourhood. In this case it will be the BMC Officer or Cleaner in Mumbai.

It is built using:

–        An Ultrasonic Distance Sensor for sensing the distance between the piled up waste and the top of the trash can

–        An electronic Light Sensor for sensing amount of light in a can based on how many objects are filling in the space

–        A GSM or a Global System of Mobile Communications (like a cheap mobile phone) for sending and receiving text messages through the use of SIM Card

–        A Servo Motor, which drives a clamp that closes the trash can when the Distance Sensor communicates that it is full and can open on the instructions from a cleaner who can send a text message back to the GSM

–        The Arduino which is like a ‘miniature-computer’, where the code is written and which manages the instructions to all the other parts

Both Kunaal and Aman learnt programming and robotics at ASB as a part of the school’s Intersessions Program and were supported by their school teachers on constructing the Smart Can.  They intend to take the product to the BMC authorities in Mumbai and also approach manufacturers for producing the Smart Can for a cleaner and healthier India.

Students of American School of Bombay innovate ‘smart garbage cans’

Speaking to Free Press Journal, Kunal and Aman said that they are grateful to ASB for giving them the kind of education that has helped them to design this innovative product. They were particularly grateful to the man behind the entire course design and implementation Mr. Craig Johnson the superintendant of ASB who is truly passionate about the kind of education and the way it is delivered to the students. The whole environment in ASB is conducive of enhanced learning which is scientifically designed to stimulate both sides of the human brain.

Says Johnson “Gone are the days when knowledge was power, today the power is – how you leverage the knowledge to your advantage” and at ASB the focus is on relevance of education being imparted to the students. ASB asks two questions for every educational program – Is it relevant today and will it be relevant tomorrow? This thought process dynamically changes everything and combined with the state of art facilities a smart learning framework is created where students stay engaged, enjoy their studies and do exceedingly well.

Mr. Johnson is a passionate advocate for Innovation and Relevancy Education. In response to much of his work and the reputation of ASB, this year Johnson was awarded the prestigious “Innovation in Leadership,” award from the Association for the Advancement of International Education, the premier global association for International Schools.

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