Here’s how you can combine robots and trash-cleaning into an interactive online game. This might be one of the most innovative methods to clear rubbish from a polluted river.

A Chicago based start-up called Urban Rivers is putting together a waterproof, swimming robot geared to suck up all the junk floating in the water of the polluted Chicago river. But who will control this robot, you ask? Well, anyone with access to the internet.

The creators of this “trashbot” have devised an online game for users to log in and control it. The robot will come with an attached camera, so that people can have a bot’s-eye-view of the trash and collect it. “We really hope that someday this game is so boring, because there’s no more trash left to clean”, says co-founder Nick Wesley, in this video (above).