Singapore Students Using Machine Learning for Smarter Recycling

Smarter Recycling

Smarter Recycling with a TensorFlow "Smart Bin"

Coming up with big ideas in technology used to take the kind of time and money that only large companies had.  Now open-source tools—like TensorFlow, which provides access to Google’s machine learning technology—mean anyone with a smart concept has the opportunity to make it a reality. Just ask Arjun Taneja and Vayun Mathur, two friends, and high school students from Singapore with a big ambition to improve recycling rates with cloud-based smarter recycling.

Arjun and Vayun realized that separating waste is sometimes confusing and cumbersome—something that can derail people's good intentions to recycle. Using TensorFlow, they built a “Smart Bin” that can identify types of trash and sort them automatically. The Smart Bin uses a camera to take a picture of the object inserted in the tray, then analyzes the picture with a Convolutional Neural Network, a type of machine learning algorithm designed to recognize visual objects.

To train the algorithm, Arjun and Vayun took around 500 pictures of trash like glass bottles, plastic bottles, metal cans and paper. It’s a process that would normally be laborious and expensive. But by using Google’s Colab platform for sharing resources and advice, the students could access a high powered graphics processor (GPU) in the cloud for free. [read more]

Source: Antonio Gulli | Google