Sort the rainbow!
Not a fan of yellow Skittles? Only enjoy the purple ones? Why waste your time sorting through the candy when there’s an automated machine that can do it for you?
That’s exactly what Nathan Peterson has done. The Maker has created a 3D-printed device that can detect the color of each Skittle and then spit them out in different repositories for easy picking. Powered by an Arduino Uno (ATmega328), the sorting machine uses a Zitrades color-sensing module to identify the various shades of candy as they make their way through the dispenser.
Beyond that, the project consists of photo interrupters, three DC motors, a photo resistor and an Adafruit motor shield. Peterson employed a small LED to illuminate the Skittle and accurately read its color. From there, the gears rotate, the sorter begins to move, and the candy is released into its respective bin.
While it works for Skittles, the mechanism isn’t quite suitable for M&M’s, though. The reason? “Because M&Ms are a bit smaller and get jammed easier. Also M&Ms have six colors, and this machine is only designed to sort five,” the Maker reveals.
Peterson details the entire process, along with some thoughts on what would have worked better, on his Hackaday.io page here. In the meantime, watch it in action below!