Back at my parents’ house, there’s a couple giant tubs of Lego sitting in my old bedroom closet stuffed with over 20 years of my Lego collection. If I ever had to sort that collection by hand, it would probably take me the better part of the next 20 years — but perhaps I could use this AI-powered Lego sorting machine that’s made in large part out of more than 10,000 Lego bricks (via ExtremeTech).
Dubbed the “Universal Lego Sorting Machine” by its creator, Daniel West, it’s a pretty neat contraption that’s far more useful than any of the Lego science projects I used to make. The machine is apparently able to use AI to sort Lego into one of 18 different buckets at a rate of “about one brick every two seconds.” West says he trained the neural network that sorts the bricks using 3D images of Lego parts, and he says the network can learn to recognize any piece as long as there’s a 3D image to train on.
The absolutely insane project I’ve been working on for the past few years is complete: Introducing the world’s first Universal LEGO Sorting Machine!
Using AI, this machine can recognize and sort any LEGO part that has ever been produced!
— Daniel West (@JustASquid) December 3, 2019
This isn’t the first contraption of its kind — in his video, West mentions YouTube channel Akiyuki Brick Channel’s sorting machine from 2011 as one inspiration. Even though this machine isn’t quite as flashy as West’s, it’s still fun to watch in action, too:
West’s Lego sorting machine is a fun example of how AI can be used for fun homebrew projects. If you’re curious about how else AI could be used around your home, you might want to consider putting it to work to stop your cat from bringing its prey into your house.