Miner Phil

The place where I unearth useful bits


Card Cataloger

I have a lot of Magic: the Gathering cards. A LOT. Okay, so I exaggerate, but it’s more than I care to manually catalog myself.

So, on a recent 10-hour trip back home from vacation, I brainstormed on how I can accomplish this without painstakingly pawing through each card.

I came up with some requirements:

  1. The machine would have to be somewhat autonomous with very little human intervention
  2. It needed to be able to somehow ascertain the card’s name and expansion set
  3. Once the card is scanned, it needs to be added to an inventory (possibly with the card’s image)
  4. When cataloging the cards, the machine needs to do little (or no) damage to the card’s condition

Some challenges:

  1. Figuring out the card’s expansion set is somewhat difficult because a few sets don’t have an expansion symbol
  2. Some cards have multiple cards printed on them, such as transform cards
  3. The machine should be easy enough to build/run that nearly anyone can do it, given the broad audience of M:tG players

Some caveats:

  1. The following cards will not be “catalog-able”

Here’s my Idea:

  • Using LEGO Mindstorms and a camera, create a simple machine that:
    1. Takes a stack of M:tG cards
    2. Goes through them one by one
    3. Takes a picture of each and parses the image for pertinent information
    4. If the machine is able to figure out what card it is, then the card goes into a pile
    5. If the machine IS NOT able to figure out what card it is, then the card goes into a seperate pile

Here’s my Solution!

Code found at GitHub (in C#): https://github.com/starryknight64/Magic-Vision/tree/mindstorms

It doesn’t quite do the inventorying and neither does it put the cards it doesn’t recognize into a separate pile, but it’s all there and ready to go, just gotta go in and do it.

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