This Mesmerizing Machine Organizes River Pebbles by Age


Sorting thousands of pebbles by age would normally be a tedious task. But when completed by the Jller machine in this video featured by Colossal, the process is mesmerizing.

A collaboration between Czech artist Prokop Bartoníček and German artist Benjamin Maus, Jller was designed with the German river that shares its name in mind. It visually analyzes stones selected from the river and uses a vacuum gripper to organize them into chronological rows. Using the geological history of the sample location, the machine has been programmed to judge the age of each rock based on traits like the grain, layers, patterns, color composition, and surface texture.

Jller is part of an ongoing research project that takes a look at industrial automation and historical geology. It was presented last December in an exhibition commenting on the "current trends in mass production." Whether it was the artists's intention or not, it sure is soothing to watch the machine at work.

[h/t Colossal]

All images courtesy of Vimeo.