Delphine L, Brittany V, Isabella D, Melinda T

Deb is an Arduino-controlled robot who uses user responses to ask questions, and direct users to throw away their litter into the appropriate container: garbage, compost, or recycling. Deb displays the questions on an LCD screen, as well as reading them out loud for any users who have trouble reading the display. PIR motion sensors are stationed within each bin, and if the user throws their waste into the correct bin, a ding will sound and an LED will light up. However, if the user chooses an incorrect bin, a buzzer will sound and the user will be sprayed with a bit of water.

Americans represent 5% of the world’s population, but generate 30% of the world’s garbage. Even in the modern day, where pollution, space, and global warming are known issues, only 34.3 % of Americans recycle on a regular basis and even less compost. This means that many items being trashed can be reused or recycled. Caused by lack of proper education and effort, the issue of an abundant amount of trash takes over America and many other parts of the world. Humans are losing space and resources, and polluting the air, earth, and water.

In order to solve this problem, the device “Deb” will help to educate users about how to sort items when throwing them away. This user-friendly device can be used by people of all ages, and is recommended to be used in highly populated areas such as schools and company offices for a greater effect. Deb will solve the problem through interacting with the user and performing actions based on the user’s movements and decisions. Through the process of casual interrogation and gentle conditioning, users will learn sorting skills and be able to use them on their own. It will also offer an efficient and fun way to decide how to sort trash.

Deb had challenges every step of the way. The first problem started when we attempted to implement our LCD screen. It was difficult to code the LCD screen to print the text just one time instead of multiple times. The problem was resolved with the use of boolean expressions. Next, our MP3 shield would not project sound. After hours of researching and asking for help, we found that if we named the MP3 file with a shorter name, it would play. Who knew! Finally and by far the most difficult, was the implementation of our raid bottle with the disposal sensors. Although it is still not perfect, through lots of troubleshooting we were able to get it to spray after being signaled by the motion sensors.

"Wow, we should have something like that here at Groupon!" - Sana Khan

Deb was created by four high school students: Delphine L., Brittany V., Isabella D., and Melinda T. They are all from different places in Seattle, Washington and Arizona. Before attending the Girls Who Code summer immersion program, none of them had any experience with coding or the computer science field. They are thankful for the opportunities Girls Who Code gives them.

This project was made by Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program students at Groupon.