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Robotics Technology

Robotic Bins and Benches in Cambridge 138

OldBus writes "According to the BBC robotic bins and benches have been installed in Cambridge. According to the article, they 'move and chuckle' and 'sing when the sun comes out.'" From the article: "Mr Bogen hopes the cutting edge technology would help keep the bins and benches safe from theft. The Junction has a three year maintenance contract with Greyworld and plans to name all the bins and benches individually to make carrying out repairs easier."
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Robotic Bins and Benches in Cambridge

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  • Less likely theft? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 11, 2005 @05:28AM (#12788017)
    I'd be more likely to steal a bin or bench that talks and makes 'rude noises'.
  • Hang about. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by King_of_Prussia ( 741355 ) on Saturday June 11, 2005 @05:28AM (#12788018)
    Bins that sing and chuckle are going to be safer from theft? In what alternate universe does the article writer live in?
  • Re:Hang about. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by StuffJustHappens ( 869989 ) on Saturday June 11, 2005 @05:37AM (#12788034)
    You beat me to it!

    it's one of those things that you can look at and within 1 microsecond say to yourself 'I give them a week before they're stolen, covered in graffiti or vandalised".

    There's a fairly sleepy seaside town near me and the shopping area (a 1 minute walk from end to end) has just sprouted an all-stainless-steel 'information point' with a 17" LCD screen - I looked at it and within 1 microsecond.....
  • by hoka ( 880785 ) on Saturday June 11, 2005 @05:42AM (#12788043)
    with making everything hi-tech? I mean these days you can get just about anything that is wired, high-tech, and overdeveloped. Its technologies such as this that are nice as an art, but fail to really push the bounds of technology since they have limited applicability. Who wants to spend 110 grand on a set of garbage bins? Not me. Not anybody I know.

    While I applaud the effort for making it artsy and cool, trying to say that the technology is useful for anything else preemptively is well, marketing bullshit and hype. It's nice to dream but sometimes we have to all keep our feet on the ground.
  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Saturday June 11, 2005 @06:17AM (#12788108) Homepage Journal
    These bins will be a certain target for vandalism

    I wonder what it would be like if you programmed these things to squeal in agony like a baby animal being tortured. We have a tendency to fill in human characteristics to anything that exhibits behavior we can fit into a human patter -- behavior we can find a human explanation for. People who live with an old car for a long time tend to personify it's mechanial quirks.

    Randomly breaking into song is just stupid elevator music, but singing to great the sunrise has a kind of charm to it.

    In any case, I'd bet exhibiting pain would deter many casual vandals. The ones who aren't deterred may be people you want to keep your eye on.
  • by ettlz ( 639203 ) on Saturday June 11, 2005 @06:39AM (#12788156) Journal
    Soon the beggars (and there are a lot of them in Cambridge) will have the run of these things. "Oi! Gizzus a fiver, or Dusty 'ere'll start on 'is Cliff Richard repertoire!"
  • by Cougem ( 734635 ) on Saturday June 11, 2005 @08:29AM (#12788436)
    I currently go to Cambridge Uni, Trinity college []. The entire population here, practically, is student. In central Cambridge there are virtually no houses, and yet a massive collegiate university. Putting these here during the end of the exam season, when we're all incredibly drunk is NOT the best time or place to put expensive bins around.

    I can smell numerous end of year scavenger hunts.

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard