Covid-19: Researchers develop smart dustbins for contactless garbage disposal in hospitals

The 3-feet tall and 1.5-feet-wide Ally has a sensory system that checks the status of the bin and initiates disposal procedure when it is filled up to a predefined point.

The team has successfully conducted trial runs within the campus.
The team has successfully conducted trial runs within the campus. (Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)

Healthcare workers are on the frontlines of the Covid-19 outbreak that has brought the world to a standstill. While people are practicing social distancing and staying indoor in order to keep themselves and others safe, healthcare professionals are aiding the Covid-19 patients as they recover. Now researchers have developed a smart dustbin that is aimed at helping these frontline workers to dispose of medical waste in a contactless manner.

Researchers from the Lovely Professional University, Punjab have developed a smart dustbin called Ally that follows voice commands and moves on predefined paths to collect and dispose of garbage in a completely contactless manner.

The 3-feet tall and 1.5-feet-wide Ally has a sensory system that checks the status of the bin and initiates disposal procedure when it is filled up to a predefined point. An interesting fact about Ally is that it functions autonomously, which means that it will dispose of the garbage at the disposal centre and get ready for reuse automatically.

The frontline workers can summon it by saying "Ally, come to bed number 10." It then opens the flap of the bin so that medical waste can be placed inside it. It returns to its preset position once it has collected the garbage.

"In the current situation, a smart dustbin can play a crucial role in collecting waste and leftovers, especially from sensitive areas like quarantined rooms, where appointing a human worker for waste collection and disposal may expose them to infection," Lovi Raj Gupta, Executive Dean of Science and Technology, LPU said in a statement to PTI.

Ally is the brainchild of BTech students Prabin Kumar Das, Vanka Vinaya Kumar, and KM Vaishnavi Gupta and Professors Rajesh Singh and Anita Gehlot. The team has successfully conducted trial runs within the campus. It is now looking for industrial partners for commercialising its product and bringing to the market.