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Devise a more efficient way to sort objects
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Small pic sorting machine

When it comes to sorting cereal - high speed, efficient size sorting is a critical process for our business. Currently, we have a need for high speed accurate sorting of two tri-axial ellipsoid objects (see attachment to view objects). The possible dimensions for these shapes are as follows:

Shape #1

Length (c) 9mm

Width (b) 2.8mm

Thickness (a) 2.5mm

Shape #2

Length (c) 9mm

Width (b) 3.2mm

Thickness (a) 2.5mm

Traditionally, to separate these objects based on the differences in dimensions, we would use a screen (filter) with round holes. However, equipment that we have tested that uses these screens (e.g. rotary or flat vibratory screens) are an order of magnitude too slow per square foot of floor space for our business needs.


We are seeking a space efficient and accurate method of separating these two shapes. At minimum, we need to filter an incoming stream at a rate of 36,000 pieces per minute per square foot of floor space. The incoming stream to be filtered is 50% Shape #1 and 50% Shape #2. After filtering, the Shape #1 stream should be at least 99.5% pure, and the filtered Shape #2 stream should be at least 95% pure.

Please submit:

1) A written description that describes your design and its functional attributes

2) An artistic rendering (drawing, diagram, mockup, etc.) of your design to show how it works


Avoid the following in your solutions:

1) Standard rotary or vibratory round-hole sifters or rotary screeners

2) Optical sorting

    Submissions will be graded on the following criteria:
  • Meets Deliverables
  • Creativity
  • Clarity
Additional Materials:
Reward Tiers
3 Winners
will receive $150 each
3 Honorable Mentions
will receive $50 each
$150.00 S University of South Florida
$150.00 R University of Florida
$150.00 Square pic 60 profile pic University of Toronto
$50.00 T Purdue University
$50.00 J University of Florida
$50.00 A Cornell University
Submission questions

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