Purdue students take “T.R.A.S.H.” to Germany

Apr 30, 2018

A team of engineering technology students from Purdue University’s Polytechnic Institute will take its automated trash collection system “T.R.A.S.H.” to Germany for the second month in a row. During a trip in March, the team won first place in an international automation competition for designing and building the system. The grand prize for their victory: a trip to Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial trade show, held Apr. 23–27 in Hanover, Germany.

“T.R.A.S.H.” – short for Trash Recycling Automation Sanitation Humanity – modernizes the current trash collection system by implementing an automatic trash and recycling can. It uses remote monitoring so that maintenance personnel know when a can needs to be replaced.

The project won first place in the Environment category of Phoenix Contact’s xplore New Automation Award 2018. Phoenix Contact hosts the international technology and education competition every three years. The program encourages high school and college students to design and build a working automation system in one of four categories: Smart Factory, Environment, Urban Infrastructure, and Recreation.

Phoenix Contact received 136 applications from around the world, and 98 projects were implemented. Twenty-four projects from 12 countries qualified for the final round. The qualifying teams presented their projects to a panel of judges in Germany in mid-March. Two teams from Germany and one from China captured first place in the other three categories. Each winning team will present its project in Hannover Messe Hall 8, which focuses on Industry 4.0.

Phoenix Contact provided each team with approximately $3,700 worth of automation equipment for use in the project.