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.

17 thoughts on “Tactile 4-bit Maze

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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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