I read in the local paper last week that Merton schools were involved in a recycling challenge & lots of schools (including us!) won prizes. It made we wonder if there was a way we could encourage recycling through coding. Here’s your challenge – Can you design a recycling bin that rewards the user eg by singing or speaking a message when rubbish is recycled? You could use your Raspberry Pi to develop a prototype if you have the right sensors available!
- Design what the bin would look like – that’s the creative bit! You might consider adapting your classroom bin? In Merton we don’t need to separate our recyclables by type, so we wouldn’t need separate bins like on the picture above.
- What sensors would you need? (We discussed laser sensors, pressure sensors, movement sensors and using scales to record total weight of recycling, attached to a digital screen to show leaderboards.)
- What are the inputs and outputs?
- What’s the control?
- Can you start to develop an algorithm?
- What problems do you think you might encounter when trying to develop your prototype? I have already thought of some and I think we might need some springs….you may also decide you may need more than one bin. (We discussed that using weight to measure recycled materials may encourage people to recycle heavy stuff instead of paper! We don’t think we will be able to tell if the recycled goods really are recyclable – we think we will have to rely on people being honest, and provide good helpful signage. We discussed that someone walking past a bin could trigger a “Remember to recycle” message, but that this might become annoying or disruptive.)