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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello All, I am a robotics enthusiast. I have a lovely 5 year old bichon poodle named Max. I love Max, but don't love picking up his poop. So I have started, for fun, to design a robot that will autonomously wander the backyard, and pick up his poop.

As I work on this robot, I am curious to know if others would be interested in this technology. Is there a case to make more than one?

Would you buy a robot that autonomously roams your backyard searching for poop, detecting and picking it up as it travels? If yes, what would you be willing to pay for the robot?
 

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There are various problems with the Roomba, which would be magnified in a back yard where surfaces are rarely flat, so I would anticipate lots of glitches.
Second, while it is certainly not a job to look forward to, daily picking up can let one know about health changes/parasites.
 

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I imagine this robot would be very dirty and not something I would not want to clean. So minimizing parts that the poop actually touches would be a plus.

A lot of dogs might try to attack the robot while it was moving around as if it were a vacuum or a mop. :p
 

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It's a lot easier to spend 1 minute picking up a poop than it would be to spend probably an 1/2 hr doing 'cleaning maintenance' on a stinky machine that has been filled with dog poop for a day or three.......even if you use a digest chemical in it!! JMO!
 
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It's a lot easier to spend 1 minute picking up a poop than it would be to spend probably an 1/2 hr doing 'cleaning maintenance' on a stinky machine that has been filled with dog poop for a day or three.......even if you use a digest chemical in it!! JMO!
I don't even like cleaning out a bagless vacuum cleaner. XD
 

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I don't even like cleaning out a bagless vacuum cleaner. XD
Hah, me neither. That's why my vacuum has a bag, Lol. I would like the poop robot to have a bag too.

Yes, I agree with the others on minimizing parts of the robot touching the grass/ poo. Cleaning and looking at poo marks on my robot wouldn't be so fun...

Curious as to how the robot would be able to sense the poo? Hmm....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Detecting the poop, is the most technically challenging aspect of the project. I don't have that solved yet, but Im exploring different options, which include LIDAR, and jpg rgb imaging software.

I agree, making the bot low maintenance and minimizing contact parts is key. Protecting the bot from pets, and pets from the bot is also key. I plan to protect the pets from the bot, with safety bumpers (bot stops on contact). Protecting the bot from angry dogs however - that I'm not sure about. Maybe a loud horn, when the bot is touched.
 

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It is a great idea.
But I guess you can spend just a minute to pick up the poop than spending hundreds to buy a robot to do that?
And how can the robot recognise poop on the ground? Through smell? Makes me curious.. :)
 

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This doesn't sound practical. Poop isn't always the same consistency. Grass is different lengths and there's also different terrains like dirt, gravel, mud, and pavement to consider. I think it would create a much worse mess and hassle than it would prevent. Also like the others said the clean-up would be worse than just picking it up with a scooper or bag.
 

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Hi DogBot,

We’re working on this project right now. We showed our prototype as CES 2017 and was ranked #4 by Robotics Trends for start-ups at CES. Follow us on Facebook to stay posted!

You’re right - a huge part of the process is in the computer vision recognition and navigation, which we’ve spent over a year coding and training.

We’ve also designed paper inserts which will compost together with the poop after pick-up and deposition into an in-ground composting unit, in order to keep the robot hygienic.

It’s taken 5 professional engineers with +100 years combined industry experience to tackle this over the last year or so - but we’re making good progress and will be coming soon to Kickstarter!

Our website:*Beetl – A cloud connected robot that simplifies your life.

RT Report:
Top 10 Robotics Startups Seen at CES 2017’s Eureka Park - Robotics Trends

Our Facebook page:*https://www.facebook.com/beetlco/

Thanks!
Xiong
 

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Instead of trying to dig poop out of the grass, rocks, sand and other terrain, why not just fry it on the spot with a laser? That way you don't have to go through all the sanitation process. You could have the thing go through a washer each time it parks too.
 
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