AI trash can to debut

A schematic of the Oscar bin. (Source:

REDLANDS, CALIFORNIA – A company better known for selling office furniture is planning to debut an artificial intelligence-enabled trash can that will be able to sort waste into recyclable and non-recyclable streams.

The trash can, known as Oscar, is being developed by Autonomous, which until now has specialized in ergonomically friendly furniture. Oscar’s development is being funded by a Kickstarter campaign.

The can will have a motion sensor to trigger a hatch to open. When a piece of trash is placed in the hatch Oscar will use cameras and an extensive database of photographs to identify whether the item is recyclable or not. Once it decides, the item will be spun off to one of two holding bins.

If Oscar has trouble with an item, the user can teach it what to do, and that data will be shared with all the other Oscar cans, which are connected to the cloud via wifi.

Autonomous says it hopes that Oscar will be smarter than humans who incorrectly classify one in four items they put into the recycling stream.