TWO, a startup company based in Taiwain, is banking on IoT and the blockchain to streamline waste collection.
Not much attention is paid to waste management. Let’s face it, it’s not a sexy subject. But put yourself in the shoes of waste management companies and you’ll see that inefficiencies abound; more so with the collection of waste. Current methods dictate that all waste bins have to be attended to; whether full or not. This form of collection wastes time and energy as the collectors are attending to bins which don’t need to be attended to in the first place. Trivial yes, but imagine the costs that the company can save by being more efficient. As for you the public, you’re most likely to encounter overflowing bins due to inefficient waste collection.
The components that make up the solution are an ESP8266 WiFi chip, proximity sensors, li-ion battery (6000mAh), printed circuit board (PCB) and the blockchain. On the proximity sensors, it is a familiar one which you can find behind most cars – the reverse sensor. It will measure the distance from the top of a waste bin to the nearest object inside thus giving an estimate of how full the bin is. The storage of waste management history and logs is done on the blockchain. And the blockchain TWO has decided to go with Tangle from IOTA. Jumpadevice wrote a short article on IOTA which you can read here.
How does it work
The sensors in the bin measure how full the bin is. This information is relayed by WiFi to TWO’s cloud monitoring and analytics platform where their customers can access in real time. Waste collectors then go on thier rounds based on the feedback from the monitoring platform and presumably only the full bins are attended to. Collection logs and history are stored on the Tangle network by IOTA. This ensures that the data is secured and tampered proof. The Tangle also acts as a platform for payment of services to the waste collection companies.
In essence, TWO aims to achieve the following (taken from TWO website):
waste collection planning and implementation (dynamic routing for trucks and personnel), transport of waste to specific locations (e.g., routing according to the type of waste), creation and visualization of SMART DATA produced by intelligent hardware software systems, exchanging of money (fiat or cyrptocurrency) between waste producers and collectors in a secure, autonomous and transparent system.
How does this impact me
If implemented on a small scale i.e. shopping malls or airports, you would probably be assured that the next bin you encounter isn’t full. On a larger scale i.e. city-wide, it’s similar. You would also encounter fewer overflown bins at public areas.
IoT and IOTA
Waste management is indeed an untapped area for IoT and one where it has the potential to grow. Couple that with the intergration with blockchain technology (IOTA) and you’ll start to see that both go hand-in-hand. It’s exciting to see that we now have a real world example from TWO that combines both technologies and hope to see more from other companies in the future! For more info, check out TWO and the original article at technode.