Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Hardware identifier

Bring a coffee can of screws to a store; pay to leave with the same stuff in bags.
  [vote for,

At the front of a grocery store in the US, you might find a machine that offers to count your loose change, producing a receipt to bring to the cashier to get larger bills for your coins minus a percentage fee.

Using a similar concept, proposed is a machine that allows a user to dump in a jar full of miscellaneous nails and screws that they've accumulated in their garage, sorting them into labelled bags designating what they are. This would be accomplished by a fairly sophisticated 3D laser scanner that matches each piece to a known type of fastener. With each new unique fastener, a bag would be printed with a label. Once all the pieces have been sorted, the user would be presented with a total to pay (based on weight or quantity), and after paying they would receive their own hardware--now in a more usable form.

kevinthenerd, Dec 30 2016

Ramrod Tool Sorter https://hackaday.io/project/1531-ramrod
A similar machine that sorts tools. In the oven, but the oven's power might have failed. [notexactly, Dec 30 2016]


       [+] and decorroded/cleaned... bent nails optionally straightened. Did I mention [+]
FlyingToaster, Dec 30 2016

       I have wanted to build one of these for a while. Strangely, I never thought to post it here.
notexactly, Dec 30 2016

       Also available: an add-on to X-ray each nut and bolt looking for signs of internal cracking.
Wrongfellow, Dec 30 2016

       What a wonderful mad idea (+)
normzone, Dec 30 2016

       I'll bun that.
whatrock, Dec 30 2016

       Great idea. Now get to work on the junk drawer sorter.
AusCan531, Dec 30 2016

       The problem with a junk drawer sorter is in the end all the neatly labeled pieces of junk are going right back in.
Voice, Dec 30 2016

       A more useful version of this would be a Community Hardware Sorter. You turn up, and dump all your crap into the hopper, which sorts it into bins and spits out anything unidentifiable. The machine will then vend the hardware of your choice, from the available repertoire already deposited, to a comparable value.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 30 2016

       //The problem with a junk drawer sorter is in the end all the neatly labeled pieces of junk are going right back in.//   

       Then we need a machine which takes a pile of drawers of pre-sorted junk and 3D-prints a suitable warehouse to keep them in.
Wrongfellow, Dec 30 2016


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