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IoT Cloud based Smart Bin for Connected Smart Cities - A Product Design Approach

  • Indian Institute of Information Technology Kottayam
IoT Cloud based Smart Bin for Connected Smart
Cities - A Product Design Approach*
Mannem Srinivas, Shajulin Benedict, and Basil C. Sunny
Indian Institute of Information Technology Kottayam
Kerala, India.
Abstract—The idea of establishing smart cities in India and
globally is tremendously increasing among governmental authori-
ties. There exists several challenges for implementing smart cities,
especially in developing countries such as India and China – lead-
ing people to a digital world, imparting knowledge to efficiently
utilize the smart city resources, become self-sustainable, and so
forth. Existing waste collection methods adopted in cities are
not a viable solution for smart cities. In this paper, we have
designed a smart bin solution using IoT Cloud based sensors
and actuators. The proposed approach was designed to create
as an end product where the product design was modeled in
a 3D modeling software and printed using a 3D printer. The
implemented smart bin product was finally experimented at the
IoT Cloud Research laboratory of IIITKottayam. The approach
fits very well for connected smart cities.
Index Terms—Cloud Computing, IoT application, Smart bin,
Smart city
Smart city solutions [2], [3], [20] have tremendously in-
creased in the recent past. It is expected that around 70
percentage of the population will move to urban cities by
2030. This is due to the fact that there are several benefits
and revenue creation platforms at Smart Cities. For instances,
cloud services could assist the residing citizens of smart
cities with employability options or business opportunities.
Precisely, the concept of smart cities is replacing the traditional
city infrastructure and services with connected solutions.
Although researchers have promoted tens of thousands of
innovative ideas through several forums, the reality of produc-
ing the final end products is limited at large – for instances,
the innovators are not having sufficient skill sets to create the
innovations as end products with newer designs or they are not
having sufficient infrastructure to implement the solutions. In
addition, most of the researchers are not having wider skill
sets to cope with the newer technologies such as IoT, cloud,
edge or fog computing (which remains as the most important
ingredient for promoting smart city solutions).
Collecting garbage from dustbins spread across the smart
cities is one among the challenges of smart city solutions.
This work is partially funded by DST-NIMAT project – an entrepreneurial
program organized at IIITKottayam until January 2019.
Possible ways how IoT cloud enabled garbage collection
system could assist smart cities are listed as follows:
1) quick update on sensor data,
2) large volume of analytics in cloud,
3) automated decision making,
4) proper notification of waste collection from appropriate
locations to the concerned smart city authorities.
This paper has proposed a smart bin garbage collection
system using IoT cloud approach. The proposed approach has
a set of sensors attached to smartbins of smart cities that sends
the status of the bins to clouds. The cloud services does a
few analytics and dictates concerned smart city authorities so
that time efficient and route efficient collection of garbages
are possible in the system. In addition, we have designed the
sensor collection units based on the custom PCB design which
fits well with the garbages. The prototype of the solution
was implemented at the IoT Cloud Research laboratory of
IIITKottayam and the experimental results of our solution are
The rest of the paper is organized as follows: Section II
presents a wide survey on the topic of waste management
system for smart cities. Section III explains the proposed smart
bin system using IoT cloud for smart cities. Section IV de-
scribes the circuit details, 3D modeling and the productization
steps handled for the work. Section V reveals the working
model of the proposed garbage collection system. And, finally,
Section VI presents a few conclusions.
Smart city related research works such as smart agriculture,
smart manufacturing, smart health, and so forth have increased
in the past. Although several works exists, there are very lim-
ited works relating to productization of the available solutions.
This section describes the taxonomy of research works carried
out in the past as shown in Figure 1.
A few researchers have focused on applying various kinds
of sensors and actuators for waste collection such as ultra-
sonic, infrared, capacity, odour, chemical and so forth – for
instance, [4] et al have applied infrared sensors for collecting
garbage information, including architectures [11], [1] [3] or
Fig. 1. Survey in the field of Waste Management
frameworks [8]; A few researchers have studied the impact of
odour evolving from smartbins; a few researchers have carried
out studies to understand efficient procedures of segregating
wastes [7]; a few authors have centered their discussions
on the impact of applying various communication protocols
[16]. In addition, data analytic algorithms and optimization
algorithms [17], [7] for handling waste from various sites have
been discussed by various researchers. A few researchers have
worked exclusively on trash management [6], [12], [19], [15]
and garbage management [5], [9] techniques for cities. In
addition, a few monitoring approaches [10], [13], [14] were
also discussed in the past.
Most of the above mentioned implementations were either
developed as web applications or android applications. But,
none of the papers have discussed about productizing the
solutions. This paper attempts to utilize several sensors on
a custom arduino based PCB and custom 3D product design
as applications so that smart city authorities could handle the
product in an ease manner.
Waste management has been a serious issue for smart
city authorities in the recent past. This section explains the
approach for developing a smart bin solution using cloud
environments. Figure 2 explains the architecture of smartbin
solution for smart cities.
Fig. 2. Smart Bin - IoT Cloud assisted Solution
The dustbins are distributed across streets in a smart city.
In general, three dustbins are included in each locations –
bio-degradable dustbin, bottles, plastic dustbins. Each dustbin
holds a wifi enabled arduino based sensor component. Using
the ESP8266 WiFi Module with Arduino Uno, publishing sen-
sor data to cloud environments are enacted in the architecture.
Ultrasonic sensors are provided in each dustbins to specify the
level of garbage in a dustbin.
In the architecture, we have used cloud setup to collect all
sensor data from various sites. Later, cloud based analysis is
carried out in the remote public cloud. Based on the report
observed at the cloud, the system automatically alerts the smart
city authorities to specify where and when waste should be
In addition, we have developed the model as a product. A
detailed description on how 3D modeling was done and the
productization was implemented are described in Section IV.
In this paper, we attempt to productize the solution using
3D models.
A. Circuits - Sensor Data Collection
The circuits used at each dustbin are shown in Figure 3.
Fig. 3. Garbage Level Collection unit using WIFI
As shown, the ultrasonic sensors are connected to arduino
board at appropriate pins and the sensed values are transported
to thingspeak cloud using ESP8266 WIFI board.
B. PCB Design
We attempted to create our own PCB board based on the
circuits. To do so, we designed our own Printed Circuit Board
(PCB) using Arduino Atmega328. The custom PCB included
voltage regulator to smoothen power supply voltage, a reset
button to enable the RESET pin of the microcontroller, and a
few connectors to input analog or digital input.
C. 3D Design
In addition to the custom PCB design for arduino boards,
we designed 3D models to create a product which fits well
in the garbage collection unit of the architecture specified in
Figure 3.
The top and bottom portaion of the designed 3D model,
which could hold arduino board and the associated circuitry,
is shown in figure 4.
Fig. 4. Top and Bottom Portion of the 3D Design of IoT product
This section explains the experimental setup, experimental
results, and the associated findings of creating the smart bin
for connected smart cities.
A. Experimental Setup
In order to carry out the experiments, we have created
an experimental testbed on six identified locations namely
AC301, AC302, AC303, AC304, AC305, and AC310, with
smartbins named as SB1001, SB1002, SB1003, and so forth,
comprising of following components:
Arduino Uno board
ESP8266 WiFi Module
Ultrasonic sensor
Jumper wires
Public cloud connectivity
Ultrasonic sensors were utilized at each dustbin of smart
cities to collect the level of collected garbages. Figure 5 shows
the setup where arduino based developed product was placed
to collect the level of garbages.
Fig. 5. Setup used for collecting the level of dustbins
B. Experimental Results
The level of garbages are reported automatically to the
public cloud which was setup using thingspeak cloud. The
Fig. 6. Thingspeak Public Cloud for SmartBin Records
Fig. 7. Dashboard with PieChart indicating the Percentage of Bins
bin indicating the its level over time in centimeter is shown
in Figure 6.
And, our dashboard showing the percentage of bin levels in
pie chart is depicted in Figure 7. In addition, messages were
sent to the concerned city authorities to specify the role of
actions to be imparted on dustbins.
Smart cities are considered to be a crucial parameter which
indicate the growth of a country. In general, smart cities offer
tens of thousands of challenges and solutions on the journey
of providing comfort and revenue to the residents. Collecting
garbage and wastage in an efficient manner, in this direction,
heavily benefits the residents and garbage collectors of a city.
This paper proposed an IoT cloud based solution that collects
the status of garbage bins and dictates the authorities to act in
a timely fashion. The paper illustrated how to develop such a
product using the custom 3D and PCB designs. In addition,
the experimental results of the product were explored in the
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... is will make the process of garbage collection much more efficient. Reference [17] discusses a smart bin system using IoT cloudbased sensors and actuators. e ultrasonic sensor was used to identify the level of garbage in the bin, and ESP8266 Wi-Fi module with Arduino was used to send the collected data to a public cloud environment such as AWS, which further alert the local authority and were also used for finding the best route for garbage collecting vehicles. ...
... Technique Goal/objective and limitations [11] IoT-based sensors with Waspmote microcontroller and ZigBee Pro communicator Reducing the overall cost of operation by finding the best route for garbage collecting vehicles [12] IoT-based sensors with MSP430 microcontroller [13] IoT-based sensors with Arduino Uno microcontroller [14] [ 17] Integration of IoT and AWS Google computer engine [15] IoT-based sensors with Raspberry Pi microcontroller Elimination of human contact by automating the opening and closing of the smart bin [16] IoT-based sensors with Raspberry Pi microcontroller Movable and self-opening and closing smart bin to avoid human interaction and maintain hygiene [20] IoT-based movable bin with L298 N motor driver [21] Integration of IoT and machine learning algorithm (fuzzy logic) ...
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