Taking the garbage to the curb is a weekly ritual for most of us. Mine is Thursday, recycling comes first around 0615 and then the receptacle gets emptied in the early afternoon. But with the dawning of a new decade less than 30 days away and the whole "20/20" thing, my vision is less work, more me.

Thanksgiving has passed, yet I'm still very thankful that a company, which I swear is reading my mind, is developing a self-driving garbage can that wheels itself to the curb.

Despite what the inventors of the world want you to believe, not everything in your home needs to be intelligent, automated and motorized — except your garbage cans. This is the innovation my world needs.


Invented by Andrew Murray and currently in development at the company he founded, Rezzi, the SmartCan is one of those rare home-focused robots that could actually deliver some genuinely useful functionality—far beyond the superficial uses like entertainment or heaven forbid, companionship.

Using an app, of course, the SmartCan will follow a pre-programmed schedule and automatically drive itself to a curbside drop off point on garbage pickup days, and then autonomously return to wherever you keep them parked the rest of the week.

There are obstacles. The SmartCans appear to rely on a pair of docking stations for navigation, which could be problematic for those who live in areas where the city simply won’t let them install one on a public curb, or where there’s the risk of them being damaged from high foot traffic. Plus, the homeowner has to remember to open the garage or a backyard gate to let the robocans out on trash day, and what happens when, after being emptied, one of these cans is left on its side?

There’s also the question of pricing, which has yet to be revealed. Plastic garbage cans, which are prone to cracking, breaking, and ending up smelling beyond icky, are relatively cheap to replace. If the SmartCan ends up costing a few hundred bucks, you might find yourself caring for it to the point it creates more work than it promises to alleviate.

I'll take that chance. The path is clear, (to my curb) and confidence is high, (if I remember to open the gate), kids, your move. Don't let your Daddy down.