TCR-2009 trash 'bot could be Wall-E's first ancestor

It may not look like much, but what you see up above is what a team of Malaysian students hope would be a solution for robotic trash collection. We're not talking about an automated garbage truck, but rather a rover that would go around cleaning the streets just like Wall-E, picking up bits of trash between two conveyor belt arms and dumping it into a bin on its back.

It uses three different sensors to collect garbage, which was simulated in a test as red balls (trash) and blue (not trash):

The robot firstly will make a full 360 degrees of rotation, to allow the ultrasonic sensor to scan the nearest object… The light sensor will scan the colour of the object, and if the colour of object is red, the conveyor will be rotating to move the ball up… Then, the robot will wait until it hear any sound before stop the conveyor motor.
It's unclear exactly what the sound sensor is listening for, but it has to do with stopping the belts. In the end, it's kind of like a Roomba for city streets. Simple, sure, but the Trash Collector Robot could be an early step toward a street-cleaning robot that will be commonplace in the future.

Trash Collector Robot, via Gizmo Watch