A man wants to use robots to search a huge pile of garbage to find a treasure he threw away
James Howells of Newport, Wales, had two hard drives that were identical. One of them was empty, but he was keeping 8,000 bitcoins in the other. Howells threw the wrong hard drive out with the trash in 2013. That hard drive eventually ended up in a landfill near Newport, Wales. Howells has attempted several times to obtain permission to search for the drive. He's been turned down at every turn, but he now has an $11 million business plan that he hopes will be approved by Newport City Council officials.
Howells will use a pair of robot dogs, human sorters, and an AI-powered machine to identify hard drives on a conveyor belt in this high-tech treasure hunt. But Howells isn't basing everything on his own education and experience, and neither his own money. given that the project could cost up to $11 million and take up to three years, He collaborated with expert advisors to develop a plan that he hopes will be convincing to Newport City Council in Wales.
To fund the venture, the treasure hunter is also collaborating with two venture capitalists. After all, even though the missing bitcoin is currently worth $168 million, there's no guarantee the plan will work.
The next challenge could be the most difficult. A Newport City Council spokesperson told Insider that the man's chances of being approved are slim. To put it all into perspective, the task is akin to trying to find a needle in a haystack. The most extensive option would entail sifting through 110,000 tons of garbage over a three-year period. Even a scaled-down version of the plan would take 18 months and cost $6 million.
The moral of the story is: Always check what's on your hard drive before you throw it away!