Trash Robot: Urban Rivers turn Chicago River clean up into real gaming

Urban Rivers have created a trash robot controlled by you at home to clean up Chicago River.

The idea of a trash cleaning robot, controlled by gamers from the comfort of their home, came about as Urban Rivers, a Chicago nonprofit dedicated to reviving the rivers in the city, needed a way to clean up trash on their floating gardens.

Last year, Urban Rivers had installed floating gardens to serve as wildlife habitat, but they found that these floating gardens were getting littered with trash. So they decided to build a trash robot to drive around and harvest the trash from the river.

The team behind the project said that “it was so fun they wanted to expand it into a game”.

Controlled remotely from a computer, Urban Rivers hopes to turn Trash Robot into an online video game of sorts, where anyone can jump into one of two robots via webcam, collect trash and collect points. Players will be able to remove real trash from the Chicago River in real time.

The Trash Robot costs about $2,500 to make, and after a successful crowdfunding campaign via Kickstarter, Urban Rivers have decided to make two.

Both robots are expected to make their debut on Chicago River this summer.

Urban Rivers

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea



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