Can a robot sort my LEGOs?

As an organizer by habit and nature, I picked up the nickname Chaos Buster as friends and family would find me in roles of organizing projects, solving problems or sorting items to bust the chaos.  During and after we closed our makerspace in Texas, we had collected 500K+ LEGOs and other items.  In our move to Colorado, much of our ‘stuff’ became even more disorganized.

As a techie and aware of capabilities in robotics, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, visioning systems and classification systems, I feel that the time has come to bust my own chaos by building ‘something’ that can help me classify and sort all my items.

In my journey I will be comparing tools, software and techniques.  Maybe some of my thoughts and ‘creations’ can help others along the way in their own maker journey.  I have a special place in my heart for teachers that are wanting to introduce their students to tech thus willing to listen to asks of projects as they may need.

First steps….Since we have so many LEGOs and the different LEGO parts are standard for everyone, I will start with LEGOs as my item that I will work towards classifying and sorting physically.  As I start my project in 2018, I will be assessing implementation options and start doing some tests of techniques and tools.

My end goal would be that my sorter is able to be taught different items, taught ways to classify, manipulate an item and sort items physically. This is a daunting task, but I feel that the journey of learning will be worth it!