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If you’ve ever dabbled in collectible card games — Magic: The Gathering, Pokémon, etc. — you know how quickly collections can grow. One pack turns into two. Two turns into five. Then they release some new set and… **** it, why not buy a whole box?
Card resellers have the same problem, just magnified to an extreme. People who’ve stopped playing a game for whatever reason (sometimes years prior) walk in with massive collections and just want to get rid of them. Online resellers and card stores can end up with monstrous stockpiles of unsorted cards, and going through them requires a ton of time and a wealth of ultra specific knowledge of a game. Which cards are rare? Which ones are a bit more common, but useful enough that players would want to buy them for their decks? What are they all worth?
Robotics - Company - Y-Combinator - Winter - Class
Sorting Robotics, a company in Y-Combinator’s Winter 2019 class, has built a robot laser-focused on that problem. You load it with up to 1000 Magic cards, and it’ll automatically sort them to your liking, look up their values, and give you all the data in a big spreadsheet.
The machine is able to sort by a bunch of different criteria, be it alphabetically, by the set a card is from, or by its resale value (as pulled from TCGPlayer.) Want a big pile of all of the cards worth over $1? It can do that. If you need them sorted other ways, the company is open to helping with custom sorting logic.
Challenge - Team - Cards - Contact - Sake
One challenge the team had to tackle early on was how to handle cards with minimal contact for the sake of preventing possible damage. Some Magic cards, after all, resell for hundreds or thousands of dollars — if their machine damaged cards even occasionally, no one would use...
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