Tactile 4-bit maze

[Oskar] has been making puzzles for some time now. In 2000, he made a small electromechanical 4-bit maze that’s really fun to play. Lately though, he’s been working on an improved version that could be the beginnings of a commercial product.

The earlier electromechanical maze (you can play it in an applet on that page) is just a microcontroller hooked up to electromagnets and switches. To complete the maze, find the patterns of bits that move everything from 0 to 1. It’s a little bit like the Fox Chicken Grain puzzle, only a bit more complicated.

[Oskar]‘s latest version uses motorized faders to represent the 0 and 1 states of the bits. The same logic in the electromechanical version is in the newest version. An Ardunio takes care of the motor control and game logic.

As a tiny logic game toy, it’s a great idea; everybody needs to get some hands-on action with Karnaugh maps sometime in their life. Check out the video below for the demo of the 4-bit maze in action.

Comments

  1. Gragg says:

    Looks like fun. Where can I get some of those cool sliders?

  2. Andy says:

    That’s rather nice, I love the motor sliders.
    I was making something a bit similar to this but never got around to making the finished product, but the electronics and program worked fine, it was going to be like this but using the same concept as the most useless machine that switches itself off and had 6 toggle switches.

  3. That is a very cool idea and a nice looking package! I would buy one and hack it right away, adding audio feedback with those sliders ;-)

  4. bzminds says:

    Would be nice to see this implemented in a 32channel (or more) digital audio mixer.
    Just to have fun between concert and concert ;)

    Nice work!

  5. Peanut says:

    I think this puzzle would end with me force-holding all of the faders in place screaming “SUBMIT!!!” as the motors struggle against my hand…..

  6. Gragg says:

    I’m also having trouble finding that single digit ‘coding switch’ in any US suppliers. Is there a different name those things go by? Google doesn’t help too much.

  7. Alex says:

    When I first saw this device, I was uncomfortable with the use of faders as digital inputs. It just seemed so wrong. Seeing it in action though, I think it was a great choice. The way they pop into position is pretty cool. I had no idea motorized faders were so quick!

  8. wardy says:

    This is really sweet but it is far too expensive…

    BUT – this could be made equally effectively by using a seet of four “useless machines” (http://hackaday.com/2009/12/30/simplest-most-useless-machine/). I’m sure that could be made for much less money and would probably be just as entertaining.

  9. The Timmy says:

    very nice. I want some of those faders, but I’m not sure what I’d do with them. maybe make some kind of custom MIDI controller.

    it would be neat if the final product was modular, and you can connect them to each other side by side, and increase the number of challenges. connect 16 boxes together for a 64 bit maze– something like ten-quadrillion possible challenges?

    and for expert mode, the faders can electrify themselves when incorrectly selected. completing all of the challenges opens a built-in safe that holds the keys to your car. this is how you keep drunk drivers off the road. oh, and it’s a quarter per play.

    on a side note, watching the maze being worked makes me think of trying to get all the children to sit still for the perfect family picture.

  10. Eirinn says:

    FOUR HUNDRED THIRTY FIVE EUROS?

    • tomas says:

      option A – DIY manufacturing (EUR150 parts per unit) + 340 units sold at EUR 435 =~ EUR100K gross income + control over your creation

      option B – contract with brand-name toy company, factory manufacturing in china (EUR25 parts per unit)+ 50000 units sold at EUR100 + you see maybe 2% of that =~ EUR100K income + no control over your creation

      this is not a serious business calculation, but i’m just sayin’ – DIY economy works. see kickstarter for examples.

    • jwrm22 says:

      You can always rip the idea. Too bad his creation will be better.

      Oscar made some great puzzles, I have around 20 of them. I’ve been watching his video’s for some time now. Somebody told me about him, because i felt bad about my English… In one of the video’s Oscar tells the viewer’s about disassembling his 17*17*17 cube. What he said was: “allot of screwing”, “its fun to do, if you don’t have to do it all the time”. At 4:50 http://www.youtube.com/user/OskarPuzzle#p/u/33/CBY7JRh2YOo To me this was a facepalm moment.

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