from the save-the-brown-ones-for-me dept.
And now a story for those who, like myself, enjoy using Raspberry Pis and Arduinos although the origin of the task has a more practical purpose:
Canoe Tech reports that M&M sorting machines are a popular project for people who like combining electronics, programming and machine building. Most of them send a single M&M down a chute to a simple color sensor where the color sensor will then take a second or two to figure out the color. A servo motor will then rotate a chute that will direct the M&M into the correct pot. But a new project created by the nameless blogger behind the reviewmylife blog, that uses an iPhone 5s as its brain is capable of sensing different colors and so can "sort" the M&Ms as they fall past. The iPhone communicates the information via Bluetooth to an Arduino board, which in turn fires off the correct electro magnet controlled gate. One practical application of the sorter could be creating a bowl of M&Ms - with all the brown ones removed. According to Dan and Chip Heath, that's just what rock band Van Halen demand in one of the riders to their standard contract. The band’s “M&M clause” was written into its contract to serve a very speciﬁc purpose. It was called Article 126, and it read as follows: “There will be no brown M&M’s in the backstage area, upon pain of forfeiture of the show, with full compensation.” The article was buried in the middle of countless technical speciﬁcations. When David Lee Roth would arrive at a new venue, he’d immediately walk backstage and glance at the M&M bowl. If he saw a brown M&M, he’d demand a line check of the entire production. “Guaranteed you’re going to arrive at a technical error,” said Roth. “They didn’t read the contract. Sometimes it would threaten to just destroy the whole show.”