Getting started with The Sorter

Things are starting to get under control at the Colorado Maker Hub with a Board, our mission and initiatives for the year, so I should have some time now to dig into investigating some areas of The Sorter, right?  Wahoo!  Let’s investigate!

LEGO Sorter by  akiyuki
LEGO Sorter by akiyuki. Article by George Wong.

There’s been much talk about 3D Printing and prosthetics so I figure a good starting point would be to investigate the potential in using a Hand to “manipulating the LEGOs”.   There have been many different LEGO structures built that can filter down to one LEGO such as the one created by akiyuki mention in an article by George Wong.

This direction using LEGO structures assumes a fixed path for the LEGOs like on a conveyor system.  On the conveyor system there could be variations for filtering based on the type of LEGO.   Doable, but the problem with going in this direction is the space needed to go through all the filter variations of LEGOs.  I would need to design different structures to filter for each type of LEGO.  All of this setup is doable…but space, resources for the structures and time would be constraints.  It would probably would use all of my 500K+ LEGOs!

So to get started on this journey of investigating the capabilities of a Hand for manipulating LEGOs,  I have decided to complete the Finger Starter Kit by the InMoov Open Source 3D Printed Robot project.   With the one finger I can begin to see what type of flexibility and pressure can be accomplished.    This direction assumes that if the ‘fingers’ can pick-up one LEGO then a ‘brain’ would be able to determine what it was and ‘an arm’ would be able to put it somewhere.  Is this doable with today’s technology? If it is, imagine the possibilities even outside of sorting LEGOs! That is what I want to discover…and thus I will put more energy into this direction.  Hubby has already made his predictions on what will work “the best”, have you?