Here’s a new project that could help keep your neighborhood in proper working order, and it’s all based around garbage trucks.

As anybody who lives in a community knows, there’s a lot of infrastructure around us.

And almost all of it needs maintenance, repair or replacement from time to time.

But it takes time for the people who handle all that work to find out what needs the work and then to carry it out.

In big cities, it can be challenging to even know about all of the stuff that needs fixing.

Sometimes they don’t find out until an angry resident calls and asks when the heck somebody’s going to fill in those potholes?

Here’s where the garbage trucks come in: they are among the few vehicles that go all over town.

So, with the right design, they could spot these problems before they become problems.

According to Hackaday, several universities in Australia teamed up to build the Mobile IoT-RoadBot.

It’s a garbage truck that has wireless cameras on board that can scan the neighborhoods around them for signs of decaying infrastructure.

If the cameras spot a road sign that’s broken or a damaged bus stop, the system can identify those issues and report them to city workers who can go out and fix them.

A pilot project in the suburbs of Melbourne sent out 11 garbage trucks which covered over 47 square miles in two weeks, keeping an eye on the city around them.

There are concerns that this is yet another camera system running through neighborhoods.

Critics want to make sure that these cameras are only watching the infrastructure and not the people who use it.

But if those concerns can be addressed, these kinds of smart tech systems could end up helping a lot of neighbors, and picking up their trash along the way.

This month in 2018, Melin Jones of Bonne Terre, Missouri picked up a birthday cake for her two year old daughter Elizabeth.

The cake was supposed to read “Happy birthday, Lizard,” since “Lizard” was the kid’s nickname.

Unfortunately, the cake decorators misunderstood and so the cake read “Happy birthday, LOSER.”

Good thing the kid hadn’t learned to read yet.

Smart Garbage Trucks Help With Street Maintenance (Hackaday)

Mishap leaves two-year-old Missouri girl with cake saying ‘Happy Birthday, Loser’ (FOX2Now)

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Photo by Phil Hollenback via Flickr/Creative Commons