Refuse truck driver is supported by robot

Imagine a robot that quietly and discreetly enters your neighborhood, collects your refuse bin and empties it into the refuse truck.
It is done without waking the sleeping families and without heavy lifting for the refuse truck’s driver.
This is the purpose of ROAR, a joint project with the aim to develop tomorrow’s smart transport solutions.

The Volvo Group is currently working on a joint venture together with Chalmers University of Technology and Mälardalen University in Sweden, Penn State University in the United States, and the waste recycling company Renova, to develop a robot that interacts with the refuse truck and its driver to accomplish the work.

ROAR - Robot line drawingThe project is called ROAR, for Robot-based Autonomous Refuse handling, and the goal is to introduce a robot that, with the help of instructions from a truck’s operating system, can collect refuse bins in a neighborhood, bring them to a refuse truck and empty them. All of this occurs under the supervision of the refuse truck’s driver, who can thereby avoid heavy lifting.

The purpose of ROAR is to demonstrate how we, in the very near future, will use smart machines to assist with a broad range of activities in society. This technology can be applied in many areas. Refuse collection is just one example.

“This project provides a way to stretch the imagination and test new concepts to shape transport solutions for tomorrow.”

“Within Volvo Group we foresee a future with more automation,” says Per-Lage Götvall, project leader for the Volvo Group. “This project provides a way to stretch the imagination and test new concepts to shape transport solutions for tomorrow.”

The three universities are part of Volvo Group’s Academic Partner Program, a network of twelve academic partners collaborating with Volvo for long-term cooperation in research and recruitment. The students have different tasks and roles.

Mälardalens University will design the robot itself. At Chalmers University, students will work on the overall operating system and at Penn State´s Thomas D.Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute the graphics, communication systems and control panel for the truck driver will be developed

This work will continue until June 2016, when the technology will be tested on a vehicle developed by Renova.


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  1. The Volvo is much more what a vehicles and components company. All this investment shows the care about the future thought by Volvo. I sincerely hope more and more peoples and companies think this way, making the future better for all. Congratulations to the Volvo.