Domino Ring Machine Tips Tiles In A Never-ending Wave

Like to see dominoes fall? [JK Brickworks] has got what you need, in the form of a never-ending ring of falling and resetting tiles. LEGO pieces are the star in this assembly, which uses a circular track and moving ramp to reset tiles after they have fallen. Timed just right, it’s like watching a kinetic sculpture harmoniously generating a soliton wave as tiles fall only to be endlessly reset in time to fall again.

A Mindstorms IR sensor monitors a tile’s state for timing.

It’s true that these chunky tiles aren’t actually dominoes — not only are they made from LEGO pieces and hinged to their bases, they have a small peg to assist with the reset mechanism. [JK Brickworks] acknowledges that this does stretch the definition of “dominos”, but if you’re willing to look past that, it’s sure fun to see the whole assembly in action.

The central hub in particular is a thing of beauty. For speed control, an IR sensor monitors a single domino’s up/down state and a LEGO Mindstorms EV3 with two large motors takes care of automation.

The video does a great job of showing the whole design process, especially the refinements and tweaks, that demonstrate the truly fun part of prototyping. [JK Brickworks] suggests turning on subtitles for some added details and technical commentary, but if you’re in a hurry skip directly to 4:55 to see it in action.

Want to see more automated domino action? This domino-laying robot sets them up for you to knock down at your leisure, and this entirely different robot lays out big (and we do mean BIG) domino art displays.

9 thoughts on “Domino Ring Machine Tips Tiles In A Never-ending Wave

  1. Another one of those articles where I experience a quite common situation on HaD – I just saw this video on YT and a short time later it’s in an article on HaD.

    I guess regular HaD readers’s(!) YT “algorithm” got the same training data from HaD over the years and now and then it’s faster than HaD (in giving many HaD readers the same recommendation on YT even before it lands on HaD).

    So in a way the YT algorithm makes had a bit superfluous? I mean most “hacks” today are mostly/just on YT, HaD directs us all to the same clips on YT and their algorithm (AI) learns that sooo ….

    Or it’s just another HaD reader who sent in this tip when his YT account got the same training data and so on …

    1. Me too! I either spot things like this on Hackaday first, then see it on other tech sites I visit. Or vice versa. Despite the huge amount of “content” that’s being turned out each day, it seems only a few things are worth presenting at all the tech sites.

      1. The algorithm is trying to guess what the viewers like, which creates a feedback loop because the viewers will converge to watch the stuff you recommend them – they don’t know what else they would like without actually seeing it.

        1. The question is can we “flash-mob” the algorithm to get an article on HaD with a totally random non-hacker topic? ;-)

          Or more “serious”: how large is HaD’s influence on YTs algorithms (can HaD through it’s readers get an obscure video on other tech sites / to other hackers who’re not reading HaD)?

  2. I suppose one of the tricky things here is making sure that the arm which sets the dominoes back up moves at exactly the same speed as the wave of dominoes falling. Otherwise the ring would eventually become either mostly up or mostly down, depending on which was faster.

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