Project 1 – BinK

BinK is a concept for an autonomous bin that is focused on IoT in an educational context. The concept was created with the workspaces of the Laplace building (Eindhoven University of Technology) in mind.
A fleet of BinKs will drive around the building to collect waste. When you have something that you need to throw away, you can call a BinK to you. This can be done by talking to it, when it is nearby, or by pressing a button on the table. The nearest BinK will come to you, so you can throw away your trash.
The BinK has four different compartments to make it easy to separate waste. When full, a BinK would be able to empty itself automatically into a larger container.

Prototype

The BinK prototype consisted off a remote-controlled base that housed all the electronics. BinK is controlled via a standard controller for drones and model planes. The inputs from the receiver were used by the Arduino to determine what motors to power. The prototype used two motors on either side of the base to move.
The top part of the prototype was a cylinder divided into four parts. The shell of the cylinder was made from a white translucent plastic. In the form of the prototype, the eye was mounted to the inside of the cylinder. The eye was animated and it had its own Arduino.

BinK on Demo Day

During the Demo Day, this is the day where all project groups show their project at the department, the BinK prototype was received very well. People were surprised when they encountered it and it took most a while to figure out how it was controlled.
It provided great joy during the day, and although it was more as a joke, people really used it as a bin.

BinK was created for project 1 ‘It did it again’ at the Department of Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology. 

In collaboration with: Eilis Kinsella - Rik the Kok - Lou Janssen

Project reflection

During project one we worked on an application for the Internet of Thinks in education. Our final concept was an autonomous bin that drives around the Laplace building and collects waste from people. The bin is interactive and responds to its environment. When called it will come to you so you can put away your trash.

The Process

We were off to a bit of a rough start, this was mostly because the theme Internet of Things is very broad, and we were not sure in what way our concept should use IoT. We came up with quite a lot of ideas in the end. We could have tried to do more in-depth research on the topic, but what we found were many different definitions, and that didn’t help for clarification.
During the selection of our final idea, we were divided within the group. No everyone thought the bin concept was very interesting. To make a choice we looked at all the ideas, and which ones would be most feasible in the time we had, and with our skill levels. By doing this we could agree on what idea to pick.

Collaboration

During the first parts of the project, we mostly worked as a group to generate ideas and develop the concept. In between meetings we would divide tasks, and prepare some work for the next meeting. Later on, in the project, we clearly divided tasks, and work individually or in smaller groups on parts of the prototype and report.
We divided the work based on interests and skills, and I think that worked really well. I mostly worked on the electronic parts of the prototype because it is something I like to do, and I had a clear idea of how to get a working prototype.
In my idea, we divided the work quite evenly, and we all contributed a lot to the final concept and design.

Development

This project was the first real opportunity to use and develop all the expertise areas at the same time. I managed to develop most of the expertise areas a decent amount, the one that was most difficult was Math, Data and Computing. I still don’t know what I could have done to develop that better. We gathered some data with the user tests, but that isn’t a whole lot.
The other expertise areas I developed a decent amount. Our meetings with Shadi helped a lot to develop on User and Society. We thought a lot about the values we wanted for our design, and the values the users would have.
During my work on the base of the bin, I learned a lot about working with motors, and more complicated Arduino code. I was lucky I could use the code from Robowars. Although I didn’t write the code, I worked a lot with it, and I have a good understanding of these different functions.

Conclusion

I am very happy with the result of our project. The prototype was a lot of fun to work on, and I am rather proud of it. I had more ambitious plans for the prototype, but that was just too advanced. I think we worked well as a team, and I enjoyed working with the group. The first project was a very positive experience, and I think we got a lot out of it.