The Concept

The Troubadour is a medium-sized motorized cart designed to transport garbage bags and recycled materials in shopping malls. It would be an automated version of the current carts that would go from one shop to the next and adapt its routine based on its customers.

The Background

Every day, I walk across Montreal’s central train station and see a man pushing a cart from one concession stand to the next, piling up garbage bags or cardboard boxes in it. This type of cart could easily be automated like a Roomba to do the same job at a lower cost and free up this person to attend to more important matters.

How It Works

One way to start would be to purchase existing carts and fit them with motorized   wheels like the ones used on the Segway (although a bit more powerful due to the weight). The cart would need to have a guiding system to navigate the mall, and there are a lot of options available nowadays. Maybe the cart’s path could be shown by the employees at first and corrected a few times, like a few training sessions, and then the Troubadour could then execute its own routine.

An app like the one used by UBER could be used to inform store owners where the Troubadour is located and when it plans to pass by. This way everyone would know when to expect it and could call it when they would need its service.

On the top of the Troubadour, there is a large door that opens up with electric motors; you simply push a button to activate it. The Troubadour can also dump its cargo by tilting its cargo bin into a garbage chute or a garbage container.

What It’s Used For

Indoor navigation technology is continuously improving, and its cost is going down every year. I am fairly certain that it will cost less to operate machines like the Troubadour in the future than hire a person to do this type of work.

The troubadour could be sold to thousands of shopping centers across North America. The janitors could use them as tool to save time. Various versions could also be deployed in cities or suburban areas.


The concept Troubadour was imagined in April 2016 by Charles Bombardier and the images were created by Martin Rico who lives near Buenos Aires, Argentina. He studied Design at the University of Buenos Aires and now works as a Freelance Industrial Designer. Martin also created the images of the Mercuri personal flying drone and the Sandofi cart for the homeless.