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If you’re a Skittles fan who wants to taste just one color of the rainbow, this new machine may be for you.
A 19-year-old mechanical engineering student from the Netherlands recently created a machine that can sort Skittles by color, then separate the candies into individual piles. Since most of us have a favorite flavor — and also a least favorite flavor that makes us cringe — this machine makes it so we no longer need to go searching through bags of candy to find the flavors we like.
The machine designed by Willem Pennings, who is currently studying at Eindhoven University of Technology, sorts at a rate of around two Skittles per second. It can also sort M&M’s, or you can modify the machine to sort other objects, as long as the individual pieces have a shape with even dimensions. This means you may even be able to use the sorter for things like marbles or game pieces.
To function, the candy sorter uses an RGB color sensor. Pennings explains how he created the machine — from start to finish — on his website. He started the sorting machine in May 2016, and he completed it this past December. He shelled out a cool 500 euros, or $529 U.S., on prototypes and parts. To create it, Pennings modeled the machine on CAD software, sent the designs to a 3D -printing company for production, assembled the parts, and added the electronics. After a bit of testing, he finally developed a working sorter.
To all you candy lovers out there, you may be interested to know that the most popular Skittles flavor is strawberry. In a survey, 34 percent of respondents choose strawberry as their top flavor. Lime, orange, and grape are closely tied for second, with around 12 percent of people favoring each of them. The Skittles that no one seems to like are the yellow ones, with only 7 percent of people choosing lemon as their favorite.