‘The Jetsons’ Is Real Because Volvo Made A Robot To Pick Up Trash

Since the dawn of time (or at least the invention of the wheel), mankind has dreamed of delegating its menial tasks to a fleet of enslaved robots so that humans wouldn’t have to suffer through their own chores or deal with the guilt of making someone else do them.

Volvo is here to help and/or expedite the rise of the machines with their new robot garbage collectors. Yes, there are drones involved. A plethora of college students joined up with waste-recycling group Renova and Volvo. Together, they produced a robot-and-drone team that can find and gather up trash bins, and the process happens automatically:

The ROAR project, Robot-based Autonomous Refuse handling, is a collaboration between the Volvo Group, Chalmers University of Technology, Malardalen University, Penn State University in the US, and Renova. Malardalen University was responsible for designing the robot itself and Chalmers University of Technology developed the operating system for the robot and the drone. Penn State University developed a web-based 3-D interface that allows the driver in the cab to have an overview of all the systems and thus able to take control of the robot should it be necessary.

Basically, a human being drives a garbage truck equipped with a drone. When the truck pulls onto a street, the drone takes off from the top of the truck and communicates with the robot — ROARY — to identify the placement of the trash cans. Then ROARY fetches the cans, empties them into the back of the truck, and puts them back in place.

Yup, we’re all doomed. Humans have created a robot prototype and the first thing we did was order it to pick up our trash. As soon as one of these things becomes sentient, the human race will be reduced to a microscopic spec in the vastness of the space-time continuum.

Be right back — building a robot-proof bunker.

(Via Engadget)