There's something inherently fun about trying to throw wads of paper into a trash can from across the room. As kids, we held impromptu trash basketball tournaments to see who was the true master of trashketball. Now one Japanese inventor wants to take all the skill and challenge out of the revered "sport."
At the most recent Japan Media Arts Festival, one inventor walked away with an Excellence Award for his smart trash can. It's basically a trash can on wheels that communicates with a PC connected to Microsoft's Kinect. The Kinect detects where the trash is, and moves the trash can to catch the object before it hits the ground.
This technology is being used in trash cans for now, but it has the potential to be used in other applications as well. There's an increasing need for autonomous objects that can move and react to the world around them. The smart trash can is just one application made possible by the creation of autonomous objects.
Unfortunately, trash basketball may never be the same again if this takes off around the world. I weep for a generation that doesn't know the shame of losing a game of trash basketball, and having to pick up all the trash from the floor as punishment.