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The Sock Matcher 5000

Matthew Age 7

Newcastle, UK

This idea has been made real

Blackburn, Lancs, UK

Programmer, car enthusiast, engineering geek. If it's got mechanical or electrical parts, you'll probably find me taking it apart. Been making stuff since I was a youngster. I also help run the Hackburn hackspace in Blackburn.

1 made real
Darwen, Lancashire, UK

I am a PhD student researching the Social Futures of Additive Manufacturing and an Associate Lecturer of Architecture.  I am one of the founders of HackBurn which is a Hackspace in Blackburn (Lancashire) that is open every Wednesday night at The Making Rooms (FabLab).

1 made real
Blackburn, Lancashire, UK

Hello! I am a product designer and Fab Lab technician. I make home and gift ware at my product design company, Julia Jacob Designs, where I use both traditional craft and modern design. As a Fab Lab technician I am involved with 3D printing, pottery, laser cutting, vinyl cutting, screen printing, sketching, and moulding and casting.

1 made real1 working on
Manchester, UK

Hi! I manage Fab Lab Blackburn at The Making Rooms where we develop products and help people learn new technologies. 

My background is in Computer Science and Educational Electronics, and helped develop CodeBug for teaching anyone how to code. I have been involved in maker spaces for the past decade.

1 made real1 working on
Blackburn, lancashire, UK

Since the age of five, I have been interested and fascinated with dismantling things to understand the working principle of their mechanisms. This curiosity led me to follow modules at school, college and now at University level that involved electronics, 3D modeling and mechanics. At the moment I am doing a Mechatronics and Robotics degree which links very nicely with what I enjoy doing "thinking outside the box" to solve problems that are already there or to simply make better products for different applications.

1 made real

Mathew's idea was made real by a team of enthused makers at the Making Rooms in Blackburn. Matching socks can indeed be one of the most frustrating way to spend a Saturday morning. Therefore it's a real pleasure to see the sock matcher 5000 in action (because it does work!), recognising the colours of each sock and matching them! Genius!

They said,

'We picked this idea because it's a problem we all struggle with on a daily basis! It's a great idea, but it's also applicable to more than just socks, this idea could be adapted to sort and match all sorts of objects.

We've loved working on this project, there's so many different machines and processes being used to build the sock matcher. We're using the laser cutters, 3D printers and the circuit board milling machine, even the vinyl cutter for the logo!

The Sock Matcher 5000 is being driven by a Raspberry Pi. The Pi Camera will detect when it sees a sock, then identify the sock colour and rotate the sorting plate to the assigned sock box. The Pi will then drive motors to move the sock conveyor belt so the sock drops through the funnel'.

Check out their maker blog to find out more!

Maker blog entries

Julia Jacob and Thomas Macpherson-Pope have been working on making this idea real.
The making of The Sock Matcher 5000
Posted by Thomas Macpherson-Pope

We picked this idea because it's a problem we all struggle with on a daily basis! It's a great idea, but it's also applicable to more than just socks, this idea could be adapted to sort and match all sorts of objects.

The Sock Matcher 5000 is being driven by a Raspberry Pi. The Pi Camera will detect when it sees a sock, then identify the sock colour and rotate the sorting plate to the assigned sock box. The Pi will then drive motors to move the sock conveyor belt so the sock drops through the funnel.

We've loved working on this project, there's so many different machines and processes being used to build The Sock Matcher 5000. We used the laser cutters and the 3D printers, even the vinyl cutter for the logo!