IoT Colour Sorting Machine using ESP8266

IoT Based Colour Sorting Machine using ESP8266 and ThingSpeak. IoT-based Colour Sorting Machine using NodeMCU-ESP8266, TCS3200 Colour Sensor, and two Servo Motors, as the title says it will sort the things according to their colour. The TCS3200 Colour Sensor is responsible for sensing the colour of an object and two servo motors are used to put them into the respective predefined colour box. And as it is IoT enabled, the number of products for each colour will be displayed on the Thingspeak control panel.
For the demonstration purpose, we will build a simple colour sorting setup using cardboard. The boxes and the setup both will be in the fixed position and the servo motor will be used to move the sorter to put the ball in the respective colour box. And we will be using the ThingSpeak and ESP8266 to do so. We have previously used the TCS3200 Colour Sensor with NodeMCU to build an IoT Based Currency Counter, you can check that out if that peaks your interest.
TCS3200 Colour Sensor
TCS3200 is a colour sensor that can detect a wide variety of colours based on their wavelength. It uses a TAOS TCS3200 RGB sensor chip to detect colour frequency. This sensor also contains four white LEDs that light up the object in front of it. The TCS3200 chip has an 8 x 8 array of photodiodes (a total of 64 photodiodes). From these 64 photodiodes, 16 photodiodes have Red filters over them, 16 photodiodes have Green filters, 16 photodiodes have Blue filters, and the remaining 16 photodiodes are clear with No filters.
In this module, 16 photodiodes of the same colour are connected in parallel. The control pins S2 and S3 are used to select the array of photodiodes. For example, we can read the red colour photodiodes by setting the S2 and S3 to the low logic level.

S NO S2 S3 Photodiode Type
1 0 0 Red
2 0 1 Blue
3 1 0 Clear
4 1 1 Green

The remaining two control pins i.e. S0 and S1 are used for scaling the output frequency. The output frequency can be scaled to three different preset values of 2%, 20%, or 100%. The pin logic for setting the output frequency is given in the below table:

S NO S0 S1 Output Frequency
1 0 0 Power Down
2 0 1 2%
3 1 0 20%
4 1 1 100%

Specifications of TCS3200 RGB Colour Sensor
Before proceeding further, let’s cover up the specification of this module. This module has a working voltage of 3V to 5V which means it can be directly interfaced with any microcontroller, and that is why it’s a perfect choice for our NodeMCU, which uses a 3.3V logic level. Other than power and ground, it has an enable pin E0, by pulling it low or high, we can disable or enable the chip. The OUT pin is used to provide the output frequency, the S0 and S1 select lines select the output frequency scaling. The S2 and S3 select lines select the photodiode type. After measuring a colour wavelength, it outputs the result as frequency, so we can directly measure the frequency and determine the colour, which reduces the intervention of an ADC. And finally, this sensor can accurately measure a test object within a distance of 1cm. If you want to learn more about its specification, you can go through the datasheet for the TCS3200 module
Materials Required for Colour Shorting Machine
1. NodeMCU ESP8266= 1
2. TCS3200 Colour Sensor =1
3. Servo Motor =2
4.  Cardboard
5.  Power Supply
Circuit Diagram for our Colour Sorting Machine
The circuit diagram for IoT Based Colour Sorting Machine is very simple and doesn’t require complex connections. The Circuit Diagram is given below:
The colour sensor is powered with 3.3V and the servo motors are powered with 5V. PWM pins of both the motors are connected to D2 and D3 pins of NodeMCU. The connections for the colour sensor are given in the below table:

S NO Colour Sensor Pin  NodeMCU Pin
1 Vcc 3.3V Vcc 3.3V
3 S0 D4
4 S1 D5
5 S2 D6
6 S3 D7
7 OUT D8

Setting up ThingSpeak to Monitor the Progress of Colour Sorting Machine
ThingSpeak is an open-source IoT analytics platform service that allows you to aggregate, visualize, and analyze live data in the cloud. It can be used to control devices, can store sensor data, and can be used to create instant visualizations of live data, and send alerts using web services like
Step 1: Sign up
To send data to Thingspeak, a Thingspeak account is required. To do so, navigate to the Thingspeak website.
Step 1: Click on the ‘Sign up’ option in the top right corner and fill out the required details.
After that, verify the E-mail id and click on continue.
Step 2: Create a Channel to Visualize Data
Step 3: Now as you are logged in to your account, create a new channel by clicking the “New Channel” button.
After clicking on “New Channel” enter the Name and Description of the data you want to upload on this channel.
Step 4: Enter the name of data in Field1, Field2, Field3, and Field4. If you want to use more field than two, then you can check the box next to the Field option and enter the name and description of the channel.
Step 5: After that, click on the ‘Save Channel’ button to complete the channel creation process.
Step 6: Thingspeak usually shows data in Graph format, but it also provides an option to visualize data using different widgets. To add a widget, click on the ‘Add Widgets’ option and choose the widget you want to use. In this project, I am using the ‘Numeric Display’ widget.
Step 7: API Key
To send data to ThingSpeak, we need a unique API key, which we will use later in code to send the data to ThingSpeak Website.
Click on the “API Keys” option to get a unique API key for uploading sensor data. Now copy “Write API Key.”
The complete code for IoT Based Colour Sorting Machine is given at the end of the document. Here we are explaining the complete code step by step.
We will be using ThingSpeak with Arduino IDE, so as usual, the first step will be including all the required libraries. Thingspeak.h library can be downloaded from the link given. The Colour sensor can work without the library as we can read the colour frequency directly from the sensor pin to decide the colour.
Download Full NodeMCU Arduino Code

#include <Servo.h>
#include <ESP8266WiFi.h>
#include <WiFiClient.h>;
#include <ThingSpeak.h>;
const char * myWriteAPIKey = “xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx”; // Replace your api code
unsigned long myChannelNumber = xxxxxxx; // Replace your ch number
const char *ssid =  “Galaxy-M20”;     // Enter your WiFi Name
const char *pass =  “ac312124”; // Enter your WiFi Password
WiFiClient client;
Servo pickServo;
Servo dropServo;
const int s0 = D4;
const int s1 = D5;
const int s2 = D6;
const int s3 = D7;
const int out = D8;
int red = 0;
int green = 0;
int blue = 0;
int color=0;
int redcolor = 0;
int greencolor = 0;
int orangecolor = 0;
int yellowcolor = 0;
int CLOSE_ANGLE = 30;
int OPEN_ANGLE = 10;
void setup()
pinMode(s0, OUTPUT);
pinMode(s1, OUTPUT);
pinMode(s2, OUTPUT);
pinMode(s3, OUTPUT);
pinMode(out, INPUT);
digitalWrite(s0, HIGH);
digitalWrite(s1, HIGH);
Serial.println(“Connecting to “);
WiFi.begin(ssid, pass);
while (WiFi.status() != WL_CONNECTED)
Serial.println(“WiFi connected”);
void loop()
digitalWrite(s2, LOW);
digitalWrite(s3, LOW);
//count OUT, pRed, RED
red = pulseIn(out, digitalRead(out) == HIGH ? LOW : HIGH);
digitalWrite(s3, HIGH);
//count OUT, pBLUE, BLUE
blue = pulseIn(out, digitalRead(out) == HIGH ? LOW : HIGH);
digitalWrite(s2, HIGH);
//count OUT, pGreen, GREEN
green = pulseIn(out, digitalRead(out) == HIGH ? LOW : HIGH);
Serial.print(“R Intensity:”);
Serial.print(red, DEC);
Serial.print(” G Intensity: “);
Serial.print(green, DEC);
Serial.print(” B Intensity : “);
Serial.print(blue, DEC);
if(red<39 & red>29 & green<93 & green>83 &blue<78 & blue>69){
ThingSpeak.writeField(myChannelNumber, 1,redcolor, myWriteAPIKey);
if(green<75 & green>65 & blue<68 &blue>60){
ThingSpeak.writeField(myChannelNumber, 2,orangecolor, myWriteAPIKey);
if(red<46 & red>36 & green<46 & green>37){
ThingSpeak.writeField(myChannelNumber, 3,greencolor, myWriteAPIKey);
if(red<34 & red>25 & green<37 & green>28 & blue<53 & blue>43){
ThingSpeak.writeField(myChannelNumber, 4,yellowcolor, myWriteAPIKey);
// delay(1000);
void open1(){
void close1(){


Subramanian MK, currently serving as a workshop instructor at Sakthi Polytechnic College, Erode Tamil Nadu. With a career spanning 25 + years, Subramanian MK has dedicated himself to advancing knowledge in Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE). His passion for exploring new technologies has led to the development of numerous projects, showcasing expertise in IoT and PCB design.

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