I love LEGO, but price, storage, and organization considerations keep me from investing too much in it. Jacques Mattheij did something I’ve heard suggested before - buy LEGO in bulk. However he ended up with a little more than he bargained for.

I figured this would be a fun thing to get in on and to build an automated sorter. Not thinking too hard I put in some bids on large lots of lego on the local ebay subsidiary and went to bed. The next morning I woke up to a rather large number of emails congratulating me on having won almost every bid (lesson 1: if you win almost all bids you are bidding too high). This was both good and bad. It was bad because it was probably too expensive and it was also bad because it was rather more than I expected. It was good because this provided enough motivation to overcome my natural inertia to actually go and build something.

This is a fascinating project that has number of challenges beyond simply putting like bricks together. The author’s solution was to design a custom LEGO sorting machine complete with Python code, a neural net, and air nozzles to squirt each piece into the correct bin.