Whenever you read about the Internet of Things (IoT), it sounds like a vision from a far-away future; mini sensors talking to each other, paying for services and thereby making the world a better place. Lidbot is one of those few projects which are not only an IOTA lighthouse project with regard to the technical feasibility, but which solve real-world problems through its cutting-edge technology.
Lidbot is a startup which set out to revolutionize waste disposal.
CURRENT PROBLEMS FACING WASTE DISPOSAL
- Waste management is expensive due to inefficient workflows such as sending workers out to bins and trashcans despite there being little work to do
- High costs because of low efficiency
- Waste management is often centralized, which leads to only few big players which try to minimize expenses, thus preventing innovation
The highest efficiency in collecting waste is achieved when the waste collectors only roll out if there’s a need for doing so, and if their routes are optimized to collect as much waste as possible per tour. In order to achieve maximum efficiency, you would want a waste collector to immediately let the waste disposal company know when a trashcan is full and can be emptied. Welcome to Lidbot!
THE TECHNICAL SOLUTION
Lidbot have developed a smart sensor which measures the distance from sensor to waste. It can be stuck inside any trashcan/container’s lid and just needs a little time to calibrate in the beginning – that’s all you need to do.
It has a SIM-card installed which lets it connect via GSM to almost any cellular network worldwide. There are no gateways needed (as opposed to LoRaWAN-networks), so installation couldn’t be easier.
The owner sets a certain threshold at which the sensor transmits a message saying the trashcan/container is full. For instance, you could set it to 80% to leave a bit of time until the waste collectors come to empty it.
The data is then sent from the point of its origin to the back-end server of the respective company, which in turn has access to all the trashcan’s fill levels and can organize its collecting business based on real-time data. The vision is to even come up with a data/software-based route recommendation for picking up the waste most efficiently (predictive garbage collecting). The company can decide how often it wants to receive the data from each sensor (a bin in the city center would need higher intervals than one in a remote forest).
Of course, waste companies will want to avoid replacing batteries every few weeks, so depending on how often you transmit the data (which is what consumes most of the energy), you get a battery life of 1-2 years.
THE ROLE OF IOTA
The great advantage of IOTA lies in its Decentralized Acyclic Graph (DAG)-structure: transactions (data-only or with value attached) can be sent quickly to a scaling distributed network for free!
Without even mentioning the fee-less transactions or focus on a DAG structure for scalability, there are so many reasons why we have chosen to work with the IOTA Foundation. We believe as an IoT company whose main focus is to provide reliable and scalable IoT solutions, it is great to work with a foundation whose sole purpose is dedicated to building a DLT for IOT and their M2M interactions. We believe when you have an intelligent team like the IOTA Foundation, anything can eventually be solved/discovered. (Ham Karami, CEO and Founder of Lidbot)
These are the technical reasons for choosing IOTA over other DLTs; however, there is another reason when it comes to the vision behind the project:
Everything will be automated with little to no human interaction. If you believe that autonomous cars may one day exist, there is no denying that a waste collection truck will not be autonomous and also its process. We think everything will be stored securely and each time a waste bin is collected by a waste truck/robot a small micro-payment will be made. We also believe that all waste data will be collected, whether it be residential or private. The data that would be collected is vital to addressing this global problem and the only answer in the future for solving it. (Ham Karami, CEO and Founder of Lidbot)
What IOTA essentially solves is the trust problem. Without IOTA, a company could say, “We have collected your waste”, and the resident might say, “You haven’t!” – so who is right? With a transparent layer like IOTA, trust is ensured because every action and transaction is automatically recorded on the ledger. Even the machine’s paying and receiving money/tokens would be registered precisely. It’s tamper-proof.
WHAT’S THE PROJECT’S CURRENT STATUS?
Lidbot will probably launch in January 2020! According to Libot, they’ve had great signals from the companies they’re working with, among which are some well known industry players.
Unfortunately we cannot make the official announcement of which company it is — but juicy enough to get excited for. These sales reps have customers already asking for Lidbot and we are very excited to have them as part of our journey. We will use their services for CatM1 & NBIOT and they have coverage across the entire US. Both Soracom and this company are also critical to providing scaling solutions to our customers. (Lidbot medium article)
There are two ways of making your bins smarter: Either you “upgrade” your existing bins/transhcans with the smart sensor, or you buy the Lidbot.Robin which is probably the smartest bin available and comes with sensors installed in addition to a lengthy 5+ year battery life:
Remember, LidBot cannot be used for waste management only, this is just the start:
HOW CAN I HELP?
Financial support is more than welcome – in case you want to contact the team, please contact them via www.lidbot.com . Apart from that, you can follow (and share/like…) the team on social media, of course.
LidBot is essentially a sensor – but probably one of the most future-proof out there that will open a whole new economy with regard to waste management. Moreover, it can be applied across all industries and it is super-simple to use. Due to its production-readiness it can be seen as one of the lighthouse projects bringing IOTA to the masses.
We wish this committed team all the best and success for their endeavour!
For more information:
Check out our HelloIOTA Focus 002 for a conversational approach to more information about Lidbot.