Color-Seeing Machine Sorts Your Sweet Candies by Hue


Although the question of whether different colors of M&Ms taste different has yet to be settled, we all know that Skittles come in five delicious flavors and thus need to be eaten with care. There are just some colors you can’t eat together, and some people prefer to never combine flavors at all. For all of you Skittles purists, electrical engineer Brian Egenriether has come up with a mostly-hands-off way to separate your candy into flavors.

The Candy Sorting Machine is a brilliant invention that takes a load of Skittles and sorts them into little white bowls – one bowl for every color. You pour a bag of the fruity candies into a funnel in the top of the machine and flip the switch, and inside a hopper grabs the pieces one by one. Each piece is passed beneath a color sensor which determines what color the candy is. The piece is then sent down a chute and into the appropriate bowl.

The outside of the machine is white to avoid overloading the senses with color. Egenriether would prefer for the eye to be drawn to the neatly-sorted bowls of colorful candy at the bottom instead. Unless you are a very patient and committed person, the chances are you don’t get to see such a sight very often.¬†Egenriether built the machine for fun, not for profit, and has no plans to commercialize it.

Overall, the machine took five weekends to build. Egenriether encountered issues getting the color sensor to read correctly thanks to the large white “S” that is on one side of each candy, but he was able to work around the problem. The machine also works with M&Ms and Reese’s Pieces. But because M&Ms have six colors while the machine only has five bowls, two colors will be deposited in the same bowl. For the type of obsessive person who wants their candy sorted by color, this may be an entirely unacceptable proposition.

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