back to article You looking for an AI project? You love Lego? Look no further than this Reg reader's machine-learning Lego sorter

An engineer has built something that is sure to be the envy of any self-respecting Lego fan: an AI-powered Lego sorting machine. Daniel West, a software engineer from Australia, built the device, which is also made out of Lego, of course, over two years. The impressive gizmo stands about 80 centimetres tall, contains over 10, …

  1. Tom 7 Silver badge

    If I have enough lego to need sorting

    I could afford servants to do it for me.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: If I have enough lego to need sorting

      Also known as 'your kids'.

      1. TWB

        Re: If I have enough lego to need sorting

        "Also known as 'your kids'"

        You have not met my son have you...trying to get him to do any sort of tidying takes 10 times more effort than doing it myself.

        Yep, I'm a terrible parent.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 10 times more effort than doing it myself.

          If I ever happen to tidy my son's room a bit, perhaps even creating some clear floor space, this seems to be taken as an excellent opportunity to get some hot wheels track (or whatever else) to make best possible use of the space. Which is fine, but then a few days later the track layout is neglected and partly broken up, and now mostly constitutes a new mess that performed the same function as the old one.

        2. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: If I have enough lego to need sorting

          trying to get him to do any sort of tidying takes 10 times more effort than doing it myself

          If you're not proud of his level of untidiness you can at least be proud of his level of intelligence and planning foresight: he's got you well-trained!

        3. paulc

          Re: If I have enough lego to need sorting

          "trying to get him to do any sort of tidying takes 10 times more effort than doing it myself."

          just tell him he can't have a friend come over until his room is tidy.

    2. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: If I have enough lego to need sorting

      The real question I have is can it find the smallest of cogs from technical Lego before I stand on them either:

      (a) in my stockinged feet, causing sonic emissions in the kilohertz region.

      (b) in my Doc Martens, rendering said part somewhat 2 dimensional.

      1. OssianScotland Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: If I have enough lego to need sorting

        Its not standing on them - the foot can cope with that - its when you kneel and get any lego brick right in the sensitive spot between the kneecap and the shin-bone!

        My eyes water at even the thought of it!

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: If I have enough lego to need sorting

          That's right, it's not Lego which is the real threat to your feet -- it's three-pin plugs.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: If I have enough lego to need sorting

            I see your three-pin plugs (literally, they are HUGE) and raise you an eight-pin DIP ... The venerable 555 has a habit of landing pins-up just exactly where my heel is going to come down. I've stepped on 6 of the damn things over the years ... all drew blood, two of them left bits behind in the bone, requiring removal by a surgeon. No other IC has ever assaulted me, just the 555. Is it paranoia when they really are out to get you?

            1. corbpm

              Re: If I have enough lego to need sorting

              556 would be worse then, thank god you didn't use them

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: If I have enough lego to need sorting

      Not servants. Children. Well, it worked for me anyway ... by the time I had amassed enough to have issues with the sorting, along came the next generation.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A "lifelong dream"...

    So this guy must be all of 9 years old then? (I add an extra year before the 2011 reveal of a Lego sorter because a baby less than a year old doesn't have goals, right?)

    Don't get me wrong - it's a cool pet project and kudos to him for that. But I think the final comment is a bit of an overstatement.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A "lifelong dream"...

      The guy is chuffed to bits he's achieved his project objective, he's allowed a little leeway when it comes to making a statement about how happy he is.

      You on the other hand, have obviously stood on a sharp piece of lego and have clearly begrudged it ever since.

      1. macjules Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: A "lifelong dream"...

        Or sat on a rather pointed bit ..

        1. DiViDeD Silver badge

          Re: A "lifelong dream"...

          Or sat on a rather pointed bit ..

          I had a pointy bit for sitting on ... once upon a time.

  3. cookieMonster
    Pint

    Fair play Daniel

    Nice job, it's a rare thing to be able to combine a hobby (illness??) with work.

    Have a pint (or three, since it's the weekend).

  4. jeffty

    That's an impressive piece of work.

  5. Little Mouse

    The article only makes a passing reference to the fact, but this thing is actually made of Lego.

    So presumably it can put itself away tidily when it's finished...

    1. AIBailey Silver badge

      Presumably, yes.

      Or at the very least, if a piece of the machine falls off, it'll try and file it away. There's something a little bit "wrong" about that however, kind of like someone knitting, not realising they're using wool from their own gradually unravelling jumper.

      That apart, this is quite possibly the greatest use of AI I've heard about so far.

      1. thosrtanner

        The challenge is to feed it itself, and see if it comes to a halt.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Or it dismantles itself from the front and reassembles itself at the back.

      2. jake Silver badge

        "not realising they're using wool from their own gradually unravelling jumper."

        Or their own hair, as MeDearOldMum found out the first and only time she used a knitting machine.

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Oh god - I just hope Jenga and Lego never breed!

  6. jake Silver badge
    Pint

    Totally absurd.

    I like it. A beer for that man! :-)

  7. Natalie Gritpants Jr

    Now let's see it bibbing itself.

  8. Ian Johnston

    The shot of two output buckets at 2:48 shows identical parts in both buckets, and indeed all pictures of the results seem to show more-or-less the same jumble goes in. Ten out of ten for effort, of course, but there really doesn't appear to be much sorting going on.

    1. Natalie Gritpants Jr

      They're sorted by purchase date silly.

  9. regbadgerer

    Mechanical turk?

    From reading the linked blog post, it seems like a large part of his problem was just classifying images accurately enough. I wonder how much it would cost to outsource that to amazon mechanical turk - would certainly speed up the process, and would also allow quicker experiments to see how having different kinds of images in the library affected the outcome.

  10. M7S
    Mushroom

    Proof of Lego's superiority

    Try doing that with Playmobil

    Are you listening, El Reg re-enactments team?

  11. chivo243 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Send it my way!

    Just last week I cleared all Lego related toys from the youngins room. Some kits are still partially assembled. Over Christmas he plans to assemble them all again, and box them up ;-} We'll wait and see how far that goes!

  12. swm Silver badge

    But will it sort M&Ms?

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