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Color Sorter

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This project was submitted to Parallax by Nikos Giannakopoulos.

The Parallax Color Sorter uses the BASIC Stamp 2 microcontroller to locate, retrieve, and sort colored balls. This color sorter has the ability to identify five different colored ping-pong balls using the Parallax’s color sensor, the ColorPAL. Using a prototype robotic arm, the machine sorts the balls by color and also sorts according to the scenario set by the programmer.

The basic components of the color sorter are:

  • A robotic arm which features four servos: this arm has three degrees of freedom and distributes the balls to five different pots.
  • The “valve” set to each of the colors: this “valve” is assigned to recognize the color of each ball before the arm catches it.
  • The automatic “ball provider”: this “ball provider” mixes the balls and sends them down a tunnel with a double door that allows only one ball through at a time.

The electronic components of the color sorter are:

  • The Parallax Board of Education which contains the BS2 microcontroller programmed by PBasic language.
  • The Parallax serial LCD display that provides the user with useful information, such as: the color of the selected ball, the number, etc.
  • The color sensor, ColorPAL #28380, which recognizes the color of each ball.
  • The Parallax Servo Controller which drives the four servos of the robot arm and the fifth servo which controls the double door of “ball provider.”
  • A DC-motor board, which drives a DC motor, is located on the bottom of the “ball provider” and serves to mix the balls.

All of the cables that connect the hardware pass through the aluminum frame of the base. The construction details are shown in the 3D design of the project which was made by GoogleSketchUp 7 software.



Nikos Giannakopoulos



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