The Needy Trashcan

Skill LevelArea of FocusOperating System
BeginnerIoT, Smart Cities,
Smart Home

It has been a month since you moved into your new apartment and no one has taken out the trash. You start to grow restless as the stench of banana peels and half eaten leftovers linger whenever you pass by the trash can. However, you don't want to be the guy who always has to remind others of the shared responsibilities. Introducing the Needy Trash Can: a smart garbage bin that can notify the person who is responsible for taking out the trash without compromising your current relationships. Once full, the Needy Trash Can is designed to alert the next person whose turn it is to take out the trash via SMS and email (in case they forget to check their phone). Utilizing the DragonBoard™ 410c, the team used an IR transmitter and receiver to detect whether the trash is full. So now, those ever-so-neglectful roommates will never have an excuse to not throw away the trash.

This project was created during a Hackathon challenge organized for the H.A.R.D hack at University of California, San Diego. It was inspired by an everyday problem that comes with having roommates -- taking turns to take out the trash. Many times, trash piles up as someone has failed to do their part. To help solve this problem, the Needy Trashcan was created to remind them automatically.

Materials Required / Parts List / Tools

Source Code / Source Examples / Application Executable

Additional Resources

Usage Instructions

The LED should light up when something is blocking the line of view of the IR receiver/transmitter. The code will send a text message to the recipient set up by the “If-Then” condition lookup created using the Maker and SMS applet service provided by