No more taking the bin out: Christchurch student invents a robot to do it for you

A 17-year-old Christchurch student has won the Prime Minister's Future Scientist Prize for his invention that takes the hassle out of putting the bin out.

Thomas James has invented a robot called "Wheelie Drive", which is designed specifically to get bins to the kerb while you stay inside.

"My working nickname for it was R2 Bin to Kerb," he told Newshub.

"The main idea was to help people who were either physically unable or due to their circumstances, it was inconvenient to use the wheelie bin."

James codes the robot's movements. It knows its surroundings and uses a distance sensor and compass.

"The idea is that the whole robot is automated and all you have to do is press a button or put it out on a timer," he said.

James started by using lego, then made a wooden prototype and finally metal.

"It needs to be really small but also hold a lot of weight," said James.

Technology like this is his hobby - it won him the Prime Minister's Future Scientist prize and $50,000 towards his tertiary education.