Throwing out trash can be an icky, and sometimes even confusing, experience. To better understand how humans interact with robots, Cornell University researchers recently created and released two trash and recycling bots to do some dirty work in a Manhattan plaza. And for most of the people who interacted with the adorable barrel bots, the robots’ helpful interceptions of waste were welcomed.

The study involved two robots. One was blue, and one was gray, and they were mounted on recycled hoverboard parts and equipped with 360-degree cameras. The bots received all sorts of reactions, from onlookers expressing their appreciation to treating it like a playful dog with a treat. Some of them even felt compelled to “feed” the robots, according to a Cornell press release.

The scientists behind the creation recently presented their study, called “Trash Barrel Robots in the City,” in the video program at the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction. This isn’t the first time the trashbots have made their debut in the real world—the robot was deployed at Stanford a few years ago and was met by bystanders who quickly began to dote on the trashbot. According to The Verge in 2016, people became so smitten with the bot that “when it falls over they race to pick it up, even asking if it’s OK.”

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