A robot walking up to you to collect the daily garbage and another one sweeping the street. Soon, this fond dream may turn into reality.
This new generation of mobile and autonomous robots is part of the DUSTBOT research project under the VI European Framework Programme.
These state-of-the-art robots are suitable for the monitoring of large spaces (open and closed), and as guides for people in large shopping areas - indicating to them where a particular shop or product is within a shopping centre.
They are also suitable for accompanying elderly people or those with certain disabilities (both at home and outside), thanks to their functions of orientation, navigation, communications with others or tele-assistance centres, says a DUSTBOT release.
They can also be used as guides in teaching spaces (museums, visitor centres), and for storage and transport, besides the cleaning of both open and closed surfaces which have either difficult or easy access.
This last function is the one which was publicly demonstrated at a railway station in Atxuri, Spain.
The demonstration of two robot models was undertaken: the DustCart and the DustClean. The DustCart robot, measuring 1.45 metres high and 70 kg in weight, has a humanoid form and is designed to interact with the user and for the collection of low demand waste.
The DustClean robot, in the form of a small vehicle and measuring 96 cm high and 250 kg in weight, cleans streets of dirt and dust. Moreover, both control the quality of air in real time.