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"...there's a great affinity between writing poetry and SF."
- Dan Simmons

Intelligent Trash Sorting  
  Robots sort the garbage - almost completely.  

Carl had always known there were garbage trucks, but of course he had never seen one. It was a bulky, shining cylinder over twenty metres long. A robot driver was built into the cab. Thirty other robots stood on foot-steps along the sides.

The supervisor led the way to the rear of the truck and pointed to the gaping mouth of the receiving bin.

"Robots pick up the garbage and junk and load it in there," he said. "Then they press one of these here thirteen buttons keying whatever they have dumped into one of the thirteen bins inside the truck. They're just plain lifting robots and not too brainy, but good enough to recognize most things they pick up. But not all the time. That's where you come in, riding along right there."

From The Velvet Glove, by Harry Harrison.
Published by Fantastic Universe in 1956
Additional resources -

See Human Object Recognition to find out the backup for this system.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Velvet Glove
  More Ideas and Technology by Harry Harrison
  Tech news articles related to The Velvet Glove
  Tech news articles related to works by Harry Harrison

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