Amazing quad pick and place system tirelessly sorts your Legos

delta_robots

[Chris] is quite the devoted tinkerer. He recently wrote in to share what can only be described as a labor of love. His Quad Delta Robot system has been in the works for about six years now, split into periods of research, building, more research, and rebuilding until arriving at its current form.

The system is made up of four Lego NXT robots which are tasked with sorting Lego cubes by color as they come down a pair of conveyer belts. The robots were built to mimic commercially available pick and place robots which can be found on assembly lines all over the world.

Each robot operates independently, receiving signals via a light sensor which tells the robot where the next brick is located, as well as what color it is. This data is sent by the main NXT unit, which uses a lights sensor to determine brick color and position, relaying the information to the other bots via flashing LEDs. All of the robots receive the same signal, but much like NIC cards ignore frames not destined for their MAC, the bots ignore messages that are not addressed to them.

The machine is truly amazing to watch – it’s clear that all of [Chris'] research and planning has paid off. You have to check out the video embedded below to truly appreciate all of the work that went into this system. Also, be sure to swing by his site for a far more in-depth look at how the machines work, it is definitely worth the time.

Comments

  1. tehbasti says:

    the noise drives me insane…

  2. AllThatJazz says:

    Just the kind of hack to bring a smile to your face.

  3. Dan Afonso says:

    @tehbasti, Don’t hate.

    I’m mighty impressed. Spectacular job.

  4. Shep says:

    About the noise, there are over twenty motors running at the same time. I tried to cover it up by putting some music over it, but YouTube and their wisdom told me I was violating their copyright policy blah blah blah. I tried.

    Producing a movie like that with all the clips was tough. I think I have lost some hearing because of it, at least that pitch.

  5. MrX says:

    Really really nice job. The inverse kinematics of a delta robot are not that simple, I’m impressed he could get an implementation into the NXT, even if slow.

  6. MrX says:

    For the interested:

    http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/tutorials/introduction-129/delta-robot-kinematics-3276/

    Minimization of the problem is indeed not that simple, even by inserting some constrains into the equation.

  7. CutThroughStuffGuy says:

    Awesome hack. Plastic gears and slow movement speed may not be the best implementation for a real world 24/7 situation but it looks good.

  8. gmrple says:

    Incredibly impressive.

  9. Slipster says:

    Now he just needs a robot to unsort them and place them back in line!

  10. nikescar says:

    Very impressive! What’s next?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone else get really annoyed when people pluralize Lego by adding an “S”?

  12. Andrew says:

    It’s scary! It’s almost as if THEY KNOW WHAT THEY’RE DOING!

  13. UltimateJim says:

    Is this the start of skynet? :O

  14. ftorama says:

    @nikescar

    Finding a new wife, as the previous one escaped after seeing that in the living-room….

    Great job anyway, don’t listen to her ^^

  15. poligons says:

    @Shep use something from jamendo.com it is all creative commons music

  16. Paul says:

    Amazing. Nice work

  17. twopartepoxy says:

    simply brilliant! hats off to Chris!

  18. nardella says:

    @Anon “Does anyone else get really annoyed when people pluralize Lego by adding an “S”?”
    Yes, more annoyed than when someone fails to capitalize all letters of “LEGO”

  19. rd says:

    ‘Lego’, not ‘Legos’.

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