Sometimes something comes along that’s really cool, even if it’s not very important. This time, it’s the engineered wastebasket. Today, on Engineering Works!
We’re not going to try to tell you this is important, but it is fun. And we sure could use it sometimes. Here’s the situation: you’re working at your desk, and things aren’t going well. By the end of the day, you’re ankle-deep in crumpled wads of paper. Even in this digital age, it happens.
An engineer in Japan got tired of cleaning wads of paper off the floor, so he designed and built a wastebasket that makes sure everything ends up inside instead of on the floor. It looks like an ordinary round wastebasket, but underneath are four wheels mounted on swivels, small electric motors and a control unit from a radio-controlled vehicle.
What makes it work is a combination sensor and wireless control unit mounted on the wall over the desk. The sensor sees whatever you throw toward the wastebasket, calculates where it’s going, and signals the wastebasket to go there. The control unit tells the little electric motors what to do and the wastebasket catches whatever you just threw.
We don’t have one of these things yet. But if it ever goes on the market, we’ll be first in line.
We’re cleaned up all the trash we’re going to for today, and we’re going home. See you next time.
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Start the discussion: lots of very cool things aren’t very important, but they are nifty to think about, so we’re not going to apologize for this one. Got any neat stuff you’d like to share with us? Send it on.