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NTHU research team introduces smart garbage can in Hsinchu

National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) recently introduced a smart garbage can that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to identify and sort recyclable trash automatically.

Through built-in imaging sensors, the machine is able to distinguish and separate four types of garbage -- metal cans, plastic bottles, glass and paper containers, said Yang Yu-hsuan, a doctoral student in NTHU's AI research team.

To enable machine learning, the team snapped tens of thousands of photos of the specific recyclables so that the machine can recognize and drop the waste into the correct chambers, Yang said.

According to the NTHU team, the smart garbage machine can identify and sort each recyclable item in around three seconds.

With the help of modern technology, sorting garbage can be done quickly, thereby eliminating the need to separate trash by hand while increasing efficiency in waste management, the team said.

The machine can also learn from its mistakes to avoid repeats of the same error, Yang said.

Huang Nen-fu, dean of NTHU's College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, said the team in future hopes to integrate the application of the Easy Card into the smart machine to encourage more people to help with public recycling through the adoption of a redeeming scheme for every piece of trash discarded.

The first such smart trash can is currently being installed at Hsinchu County Hall.

Source: Focus Taiwan
Nina Lin (


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