‘Trashbot Game’ Allows Players to Clean Chicago River via Internet

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‘Trashbot Game’ Allows Players to Clean Chicago River via Internet PHOTOGRAPH: Urban Rivers Website |

A non-profit organization is aiming to change the landscape of multiplayer internet games with its “Trashbot Game.” The online game will allow players to control a robot deployed to Chicago River with the use of simple keyboard functions. While players are having fun at their locations, they are literally picking up bottles and plastics that are floating in the Chicago River.

Urban Rivers, a non-profit organization, is planning to deploy a remote-controlled robot to clean up trash from the Chicago River as regular and as tirelessly as possible. To do this, they think it will be best if anyone can practically log-in via the internet, control the robot anytime and anywhere, and have fun while cleaning.

Players will see the river in real time from a camera mounted on the robot. They will also earn points as they scoop trash all along.

Urban Rivers has already deployed a prototype on the Chicago River but needs more funding to make it a fully developed multiplayer internet game. The team needs $5,000 to finish the project, according to its Kickstarter page, Specifically, the goal is to build a home base trash station, install a high-power wifi station, and modify the robot to withstand all seasons.

“We really hope that one day, this game is just so boring, because there’s no more trash left to clean,” said Urban Rivers co-founder Nick Wesley in the project’s Kickstarter video.

The team has come up with the idea for the “Trashbot Game” after it successfully installed the largest floating garden in Chicago in 2017. A few months into the project, the team has already grown weary of how trash plaque the floating gardens. Plastic bottles and other garbage have regularly turned up in large quantities and no matter how the team tried to clean up by hand, more and more trash is turning up daily.

Finally fed up with the tiring process, the Robot Team behind the Urban Rivers developed a Remote Control boat that is capable of getting trash from the river. The team was entertained about the whole cleaning process that they eventually thought of making it a multiplayer internet game.

Urban Rivers continues to expand its floating garden by 25,000 square feet by this year to a mile-long park by 2020. The park will eventually serve as a wildlife habitat and an urban agriculture test site for the local community. If Urban Rivers manages to acquire more than $10,000, it plans to create more robots that will be deployed to the river.