Garbage app hopes to clean up trash disposal

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The first prize winners of this year’s Soong Ching Ling Prize for Children’s Invention are twins Chu Siyu and Chu Siqi, from Huiwen No. 1 Primary School in Beijing.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Sorting trash isn’t a waste of time, but it can be a responsibility that people too often abandon. This is why improving the treatment of household waste in urban areas and popularizing knowledge about sorting and recycling waste among city dwellers is an idea that should not be thrown away.

It is not an easy task for everyone to keep waste sorting knowledge in mind and practice waste classification in daily life. Some people may even be confused when deciding which category the waste they are going to throw away belongs to.

But, what if we had a trash can that could help us classify the waste? Based on this hypothesis, twins Chu Siyu and Chu Siqi, both fifth-graders of Huiwen No. 1 Primary School in Beijing, used artificial intelligence, cloud storage and the Internet of Things to design a set of four trash cans, able to help users sort the trash.

Users first open a designated app on which the names of different types of waste are displayed. Once the user chooses a trash can in the app, the corresponding Bluetooth trash can will open automatically.

“It also allows people to throw their waste without touching the trash, which is more hygienic”, specify the young inventors.

Voice recognition technology is also applied in the invention, allowing users, the twins say, to open the corresponding bin by speaking the name of the bin they wish to throw away.

Creating the interactive trash can prototype propelled the duo to first prize in this year’s Soong Ching Ling Prize for Children’s Invention.

The event received approximately 20,000 registrations from over 30,000 domestic and international students from over 3,800 elementary and middle schools.

The award ceremony was held in Beijing on August 21. Renowned scholars from the Chinese Academy of Sciences or the Chinese Academy of Engineering were invited to present the trophies, allowing young participants to meet accomplished scientists in person.

Other award-winning entries include a badminton shuttlecock collecting robot and a smart elevator, designed to help curb the spread of COVID-19. It does this by using AI technology to monitor the social distance between passengers, as well as allowing them to select their floor remotely via their mobile phone, eliminating the need to press a button.

The event also lifted the curtain on a series of scientific promotional activities co-organized by the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation and the China Association for Science and Technology.

Jing Dunquan, vice president of the foundation, noted that the two will carry out science popularization work among young people to build their scientific culture and cultivate young people’s desire to contribute to society.

The two organizations announced a strategic partnership in February to better carry out their cooperation in science promotion, talent cultivation and international exchanges.


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