If you’re looking to add some smarts to your kitchen, perhaps a robotic trashcan may be a good start. Take this recent project from Alex Gyver, for example, who built a bin that opens whenever he waves his hand above it.
In Gyver’s case, the can has two modes–one that raises the lid for 10 seconds when a hand is 10 to 30 centimeters away, and another for three seconds when 30 to 70 centimeters away. The latter is clearly for when you have to quickly throwing something out.
The system consists of an Arduino, an inexpensive range ultrasonic sensor, and a servo motor. The distances and times can easily be adjusted by editing the sketch.
Sound like something you’d like in your house, office or dorm? Check out the entire project on Instructables here.