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Electronic Lego® Divining Stick

Find those essential bricks without spending 5 hours.
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As I posted recently, I was the undisputed lego king of my county as a child, and had a huge collection of them. This presented some challenges.

Building anything took hours, sometimes days, simply because I couldn't find the right piece. And filing the bricks according to type simply became too tedious. I therefore propose that all new lego blocks have included a simple electronic coding chip mounted underneath that would respond to a programmable detector, shaped like a divining stick, with an LCD panel and a few selection buttons. Select the appropriate brick on the stick and wave it around the pile until it beeps. Bing! There's your brick.

RayfordSteele, May 05 2002

(??) Automatic Lego Brick sorter http://www.brickset...oc/mindstorms/abs1/
Robotic project using Mindstorm [krelnik, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

[link]






       You could have a tonal voice recognition chip in it too..   

       One problem the current design doesn't address is the "moving brick" syndrome: the very act of reaching for the one piece you've spent 20 minutes looking for displaces it forever in a sea of mundane, unsuitable blocks...   

       pastry for you, though.
yamahito, May 05 2002
  

       Hey there you go... scrap the LCD readout and talk to the stick using voice recognition based on your tonal language. Then wave it around the pile until it matches the tone you sing.
RayfordSteele, May 05 2002
  

       ... and then sell a seperate device where you input (on an LCD screen) the type of block you want, and it reproduces the correct tonal responce. Just the thing for those kids who can't speak TLL!   

       And, of course, the marketing dept. will love that they can sell two tools to do the work of one ;op
yamahito, May 05 2002
  

       When I was kid, I think I would have liked to have had this nearly as much as a foot mounted "Lego Alert" for walking barefoot around the Lego construction site. It hurts just to remember.   

       I was never as organized as [RayfordSteele] so never attempted to sort my Legos. But, it would be fun to have a machine vision system that would accept a load of Legos in a hopper then analyze and sort them in to bins.
half, May 06 2002
  

       Me? Organized? Not hardly. If you could only see my apartment today...
RayfordSteele, May 06 2002
  

       Oh man I needed this over the recent holiday break when playing Lego with my nephews.   

       Seems like you could implement it using super-short-range RFID tags.   

       //load of Legos in a hopper then analyze and sort them//
How about building the sorter itself using a Mindstorm? Oh no, can't start due to Catch 22.
  

       [update] Someone already baked that! See link.
krelnik, Jan 21 2003
  
      
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