The problemwith distant glimpses of the future is that getting there takes some time. Such is the case with the TCR-2009 Trash Collecting Robot, which is a neat, but primitive robot garbage man.

Created by three Malaysian university students, there's currently only photos available of the TCR, so how well this thing actually functions remains to be seen.

Aesthetic gripes aside, what the TCR will someday do is pretty cool. Using ultrasonic sensors, it can search far and wide for any loose pieces of garbage, then, using a dual pair of conveyor belts, pick the rubbish up and deposit it into its back. A sound sensor is used to issue voice commands and a light sensor is used to detect colors. Right now, the bot is only able to classify red-colored balls as trash and blue-colored balls (heh) as not trash.

Simplistic, sure. But like I said, the road to the future happens in baby steps. [TCR-2009 via Gizmo Watch via Dvice]