Looks like a robot’s about to take over the street cleaning chores ... and it’s not going to be a Roomba.
While iRobot’s busy supplying robots to the military, someone else has invested time designing a Roomba-inspired machine for a much bigger clean-up assignment. The Roomba’s built for your house’s floors, but Scarab’s design concept, Scarab, is designed for the streets.
The concept of non-human street sweeper is not an entirely new idea however. There are already manually-driven, truck-attached sidewalk sweepers cleaning the streets of major cities worldwide. These truck-based sweepers are gas guzzlers though and are hence emitters of greenhouse gases.
A more energy efficient street sweeper that can clean urban wastes more effectively without harming the environment themselves is what designers like Olga Kalugina have in mind in trying to develop a counterpart for the Roomba for the streets. Such is the motivation for the Scarab, aptly named after the world's largest independent manufacturer of street sweeping trucks and vehicles.
The Scarab is designed to have a larger capacity than a standard vacuum cleaner but is equipped with grabber arms for larger trash and has the ability to empty itself onto receptacle bins.
The iRobot Dirt Dog and the Roomba 610 Professional have better cleaning capabilities than their predecessors and it would be a matter of time before a new army of street-cleaning robotic crew similar to the Scarab concept or better comes out in the market - ready to clean the streets of the future.