Cleaning robot and smart waste bins: how environmental innovations are tested in Moscow

October 27
Economy and entrepreneurship

An increasing number of high-tech companies are expressing interest in the innovation pilot testing program, that allows developers of advanced solutions in various fields to test their products in the urban environment, and have their performances assessed by experts. The program is implemented by the Moscow Innovation Agency. About 400 companies joined it. This year 169 participants applied for participation in the project.

Eco projects in action

The program participants include about 100 environmental companies that develop innovative solutions for garbage collection, household waste sorting, recycling and disposal.

One of these developments is the battery operated robotic vacuum cleaner. According to its creators, the cleaner combines time-tested technologies with the latest advances in robotics.


According to him, the most difficult thing was to combine compactness with powerful performance. Importantly, the robot was supposed to be as mobile as possible, and travel across territories where a baby stroller or wheelchair could move, and also be effective in areas where it is impossible to use large equipment. Similar models of street sweepers based on vacuum cleaning are not numerous worldwide, and there were no battery operated cleaners of this type until recently at all.

“Studying experience of existing analogs, we understood that they fail to ensure sufficiently clean surface, leaving behind small dirt and dust. This is especially noticeable on challenging surfaces such as paving slabs and bituminous pavements with a high ratio of large coarse particles. The principle of our robot operation is as follows: it collects garbage to the central axis with two brushes and sucks it in. Then the garbage goes into a special bunker, and the air is filtered and discharged outside,” explained Mikhail Cherny.

Special software assigns cleaning zones to the robot, and it follows this trajectory, taking into account the real situation (for example, it can deviate inside the zone, bypassing obstacles, and then return and finish the work). A built-in set of sensors recognizes various (including moving) objects even in strong smoke and fog, or when it is raining or snowing. Pilot testing of the new cleaner is now underway at VDNKh.

“As part of these tests, we are working out algorithms for safe movement of the robot in various conditions, we teach it to clean the territory as efficiently and economically as possible. VDNKh has a wide variety of surfaces and track configurations. This is important for us — many aspects related to the robot's operation were revealed only in the course of pilot testing. We are identifying small defects in the design and promptly eliminate them,” Mikhail Cherny noted.

He is confident that the Moscow Innovation Agency program is one of the most effective tools for targeting potential customers and testing products in real, but not artificial conditions.

“One of the tasks of the city program for testing innovative solutions is to enable authors of innovations evaluate them in practice, and, if necessary, quickly modify them and find the first consumers. “Today, 143 sites are available in Moscow where we can test our solutions”, said Alexei Fursin, Head of the Moscow Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development. Since the beginning of the year, a total of 169 applications from high-tech companies were submitted for testing their developments in the urban environment in 18 different areas. By this time, 146 tests were launched, 105 of them were successfully completed."

The advantages of pilot testing of developments in real conditions were appreciated by another project participant, Evgeniy Slepak, the developer of smart waste bin "GreenBin". The entrepreneur believes that thanks to pilot tests of his project, Muscovites will be convinced that sorting of waste is easy.

The new waste bin is a 800 liter system of selective (separate) collection of secondary waste. Waste bin sections are designed to collect plastic, glass, organic, metal and paper waste. Due to their large volume, smart waste bins do not need to be emptied frequently. The degree of filling up is regulated by special sensors. A press mechanism installed inside the system, compresses the contents of each section from 200 to 45 liters.

The waste bin is equipped with the energy intensive battery, GSM sensor (alerting device) and Wi-Fi. When the waste bin is 90 percent full, a notification is sent to the operator's mobile phone, and the waste is transported for recycling. The waste bin battery is charged using a solar cell on the lid.

Benefits and convenience of smart waste bins were appreciated by Moscow Zoo visitors. Three eco-benches were made from the collected and recycled plastic waste, and they were installed on the zoo territory.



According to him, the expected effect of the pilot project is popularization of separate waste collection, decrease in the amount of waste that goes to landfills, as well as significant budget savings, and decrease in the negative impact on the urban environment.

About the program

The pilot testing program for innovative solutions is underway since 2019. Thanks to the service, the founders of startups raised 650 million rubles for investing.

You can find out more about the program, choose a test site and apply for participation on the website of the Moscow Innovation Agency.


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