A group of students have designed a “Smart Bin” that is equipped with sensors. Once the sensors detect that the trash bin is full or have reached a certain weight, the system will issue a ‘cleaning notification’ to cleaners. Not only will this lessen the time and manpower required for cleaning services, but cleaning supervisors will also be able to know when there is greater demand for cleaners in order to better arrange their manpower and improve cleaning efficiency.

The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) organised its second SUTD Information Systems Technology and Design (ISTD) Exhibition yesterday.

There were around 50 innovative projects and prototypes built by the SUTD students on display, with 17 of them related to Internet of Things (IoT).

A team of six students, which includes 22 year old ISTD sophomore, Nicholas Yeow (22), showed their innovativeness by developing a sensor-equipped “Smart Bin”.

The team had originally hoped to develop a more efficient waste disposal solution; however, they later changed their focus to improving current trash bins.

Nicholas said: “Cleaners usually have a specific time for cleaning trash bins, but sometimes the bins are not yet full. If the bins are equipped with sensors that can ‘inform’ them when the bins are full, they will not need to come every day to clear the bins at a set time.”

Besides receiving cleaning notifications via the app, cleaning companies can also analyse the information gathered to better assist with their manpower planning.

Nicholas said that the team originally wanted to use weight to determine whether the trash bin was full. However, they realised that some light weight trash may take up a lot of space, hence they could not solely use weight as the measurement. They finally decided to add on sensors to measure the depth of the trash bin, to determine how much space was left in the bin.

Nicholas added that he hoped the “Smart Bin” can be used in different locations and in future they could collaborate with cleaning companies, as well as town councils that take care of cleaning HDB estates.

SUTD’s ISTD Exhibition was sponsored by British Petroleum (BP), and the best project will receive $2,500 prize money.

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