It might look this project ended where many projects do, but this is not the case. It just takes me a bit longer.

Till now I spent time with calculating neural networks, taking pictures of bricks, mechanics for pushing parts off the conveyor belt to boxes and other “advanced” stuff.  You can read about that in previous part(s).

Today it will be much much more simple.

I tried almost all items on the todo list from the last post (excluding that crazy idea of running the classification directly on LEGO NXT brick). But the most problematic was …


The conveyor belt

The conveyor belt was a real pain. The original LEGO tread is really bad as a conveyor belt. It has very strong and confusing structure (which would make training of the neural net harder). Moreover, this structure makes small parts to suck in the belt. They get stuck quite a lot. I tried several replacements – bicycle tube, motorcycle tube.. Didn’t work. Finally I tried the a surgical tourniquet. (I have to admit that when I came to the pharmay for the fifth tourniquet during a week, they looked quite oddly at me). Anyway, it works quite good.

But even the new belt didn’t solve one problem – round parts roll. They roll and fall all around. Even to the boxes with sorted parts. And those really don’t belong there. I hoped the longer belt could stabilize the parts, but that didn’t happen. There were pins, bushes and whort axles all around the sorter.

But then I realized, that this is kind of sorting, too. And that I can separate these parts on an inclined conveyor belt. Whatever is round, it rolls away. So I build something I call “presorter”. Before I put the parts to the “real” sorter, I separate the troublemakers. It looks like this:

I need to do multiple passes – some round parts fall flat and don’t roll (especially when I want them to). But the result is quite good. This is after the first pass:

And after the second pass:

This is just a mix of a few part types. And that can be easily sorted manually.

It gets two or three passes to get a mix of non-round parts. The result is something, what can be sorted by the “real” sorter. We can look into it the next time.

And the video, of course.