Optimized Colour Sorter




There is a lot of room to improve the robots designed by Lego, especially the ones from the home edition. Basically, most of the improvements can be done by optimizing the software, although I consider that some mechanical advantage can be achieved if we import some of the building technics that fans have developed.

Colour Sorter from the Mindstorms Education Core Set.

This machine scans objects and sort them according to their color.

When I first built this model I realized that the way it was built was extremely inefficient. The operator has to manually scan every object and then place them in the tray. That was a little disappointing since there is no way to connect this machine to a supply chain.

Then I turned on the machine and things just you kept getting worse. The “sorter” (the part that deal with moving and placing the objects) uses a very obsolete algorithm to know the exact position where a piece should be unload: After unloading a piece, it has to return to the left side so it can star moving to the next unloading position.

I ask myself why. Well, because the sorter does not keep track of its movements, so it doesn’t know its location.

To correct those problems I rewrote the program aiming for two thing:

1) Making placing and scanning a single movement.

2) Including odometry in the algorithm, so the sorter can know its position by keeping track of its movements.

I made two changes in the mechanical design:

1) I relocated the sensor so it’s now over the tray.

2) I moved the Intelligent Brick 4 studs to the left so I could free the 50cm cable to be used with the now moving sensor.

There's one frequently asked questions:

Can I have the original program? Yes, you can.

Sing up for the Lego Education program at https://education.lego.com/en-us

You can use you Lego Shop account.

Go to "Downloads" >> "Core Software" and there you have your free copy of the Lego EV3 Education Software which includes the original building instructions and controller.

The Youtube video explains with details the improvements I made.

Thank you for your attention.

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Name Optimized Colour Sorter
Designer dagupa
Designed 2016
Inventory 359
Theme Mindstorms > EV3
Modification of 45544-1 EV3 Core Set
Gingerbread House
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