The Recycling Problem

Even with the best of intentions, recycling programs in schools can be troublesome. It only takes one person to put plastic into the can recycling bin and someone has to sort all of the recycling - a perfect job for a robot. Students from Jennie Elliott School decided to tackle this problem with the RCX robots and again, in later years, using the newer NXT robots.

The students created a robot prototype that would distinguish between a blue block (representing glass) and a red block (representing plastic) and deliver the block to the correct pile. The students made the robot so it would look for a landing pad to stop on so the glass and plastic piles could go as near or far as needed. This way the robot could work in any recycling facility.

The challenges were using sensors, making loops, adding an "unloading part" to the robot, and sequencing events. With the newer NXT robots, the building was less intense because the motors will move a precise number of degrees but the challenge is increased by making the robot travel through a maze to a specific location.

Picture of unloading superstructure of the robot.

This project can use either the older NXT robots or the newer RCX robots.