Joining the Clean India Mission, the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IIT-Gn) has taken an innovative step in making cleaning easier by setting up a ‘talking dustbin’ prototype on campus. Designed at the institute’s Design and Innovation Centre (DIC), the eco-friendly smart dustbin uses solar energy to send texts to the housekeeping department when it needs to be emptied. The pilot project was launched at IITGn’s Palaj campus last week to check feasibility and workability of the product. As per the campus sources, the idea of developing an innovative and advanced dustbin was proposed by institute director Sudhir Jain.
The DIC team reportedly worked on the project for a few months before creating a working model and kicking off the pilot project on November 5. According to the DIC team that worked on the dustbin, the final product was developed keeping in mind the need for a smart and ecofriendly garbage holder. “Not only does it send messages using solar energy, one of the biggest advantages of the dustbin is that the person collecting the garbage will not have to use his/her hands to empty the bin as it can be mechanically tilted to a level where the garbage can be poured into the main trolley directly,” said Franklin Kristi, a member of the DIC team that worked on what has been dubbed the ‘talking’ dustbin. Explaining the messaging concept, Franklin said the team placed solar panels with sensors on the lid. “As soon as the bin is filled to a marked point, it generates an automatic text message that is sent to a number saved in the system.
A SIM card has been placed in the solar system that functions with the use of GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) technology,” he added. Having developed the prototype at the expense of Rs 10,000, the pilot dustbin will be tweaked as per suggestions of the housekeeping department following which, a final model will be developed and installed at chosen spots on campus. As of now, however, the prototype has generated much excitement among the housekeeping department of IITGn. Ashok Rathod, head of the housekeeping department at IITGn’s new campus has found the idea of being informed that ‘it’s time to empty’ by the bins rather interesting.
“A dustbin that informs us when it is full would help us streamline the cleaning process and will ensure we do not get complains of overflowing dustbins,” said Rathod, who feels the talking bin would be especially beneficial at the residential blocks. Meanwhile, Professor Sudhir Jain, director of IITGn said, “Projects developed at DIC have a strong industry and social focus and follow a human-centric design philosophy. The project on dustbin exemplifies this vision.”