Introduction: Skittle Sorter

About: Purdue University Mechanical Engineer. CAD designing, 3-D printing, CNC Plasma cutting, Laser cutting, welding, woodworking, Arduino enthusiast and instructor.

Make a machine capable of sorting 100g of skittles by color as quickly and as accurately as possible.

The learning goals are to apply basic understandings in electricity and to develop an intermediate level of understanding with an Arduino, mainly the use of third party sensors, if/else statements and servo-motion control.

To evaluate the success of your machine, imagine this is in a pharmaceutical application and that the green, yellow and orange skittles are very different medications to be distributed to patients and that the red and purple skittles are poison to be discarded. Discarding medication is not nearly as bad as distributing poison. Mixing medications is bad with varying consequences.

I hope you enjoy the project!

Step 1: Getting Started

Plan and make the back-board of your skittle sorter. You will also be adding the vibration necessary to keep the skittles flowing smoothly through your skittle sorter. Be careful with the hot glue and the box cutter!

Step 2: Feeding Skittles One at a Time

Learn to control a continuous rotation servo using an Arduino so that you can feed skittles one at a time in front of the camera.

Step 3: Detecting the Skittle Color

Learn to connect a camera to your Arduino and how to use that camera to get skittle color data back to your Arduino.

Step 4: Sorting Based on Color

Use the color information from the camera and your understanding of servo motion to sort the skittles based on color.