Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Our dumb future gets dumber with the invention of automated trash cans

Photo: Nikolay Shubin (Getty Images)

The robot revolution has arrived and it is, for the most part, absolutely stupid. As our species has continued to develop ever more advanced technology, we’ve used it to create such essential robotic devices as a metal finger you can stick on your phone to, like, scratch your chin during a phone call, one that harasses homeless people, an automated vacuum cleaner that screams in pain, self-driving suitcases, and a decapitated cat robot with a wagging tail.

Aware that there’s nowhere to go from here but up, we now have a garbage can that takes itself to the curb.


The product of a company called Rezzi, the “SmartCan” is basically just a high-tech version of a poltergeist-haunted trash bin. As the video that plays on its official page shows, the SmartCan alerts itself to the need for its stinking guts to be emptied and then rolls over to the curb as if a helpful ghost has arrived to handle the household chores.

Gizmodo’s Andrew Liszewski runs down further details in an article about the invention. He points out that it seems to work by moving between two docking stations, which introduces potential problems like having to provide a clear path each week, ensure the motorized device remains charged, and figuring out how to keep local hooligans from kicking the shit out of a luxury trash mover. Not mentioned in SmartCan advertising so far are other important issues with the device such as the likelihood that priests will gather around the bin for regular exorcisms, the need to protect it from an enraged proletariat flinging molotov cocktails at such a ridiculous display of disposable income, and, uh, how much the thing will even end up costing.

Twitter seems to agree that it’s not the most important invention of recent years, either making fun of its impracticality...


...or using a GIF of it as joke fodder.


While it doesn’t look like the ghost-bin is all that necessary for most humans, we can only assume that raccoons, ride-sharing their automated buffet from street to backyard, will be thrilled to learned of the invention.


[Note: Gizmodo, like The A.V. Club, is owned by Great Hill Partners.]

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About the author

Reid McCarter

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.