Create Large Scale Domino Art With A Robot

Creating large domino art displays is a long and nerve-racking process, where bumping a single domino can mean starting from scratch. To automate the process of creating these displays, a team consisting of [Mark Rober], [John Luke], [Josh], and [Alex Baucom] built the Dominator, a robot capable of laying 100 000 dominos just over 24 hours. Video after the break.

[Mark Rober] had been toying with the idea for a few years, and the project finally for off the ground after [Mark] mentioned it in a talk he gave at the 2019 Bay Area Maker Faire. To pull it off, the team created an entire domino laying system, including an automated loading station, a precision indoor positioning system, and the robot itself. The robot is built around a frame of aluminum extrusions, riding on three omnidirectional wheels driven by precision servo motors. A large tray mounted to the front of the robot can hold and release 300 dominos at a time. The primary controller is a Raspberry Pi 4, which receives positioning information from a Marvelmind indoor positioning system and a downward-facing IR camera that looks for reflective markers on the floor. The loading system uses a conveyor system to feed the different colored dominos to an industrial Kuka robot that drops them down a grid of tubes that can hold multiple layers at once.

Continue reading “Create Large Scale Domino Art With A Robot”

Domino Layer Lets You Focus On Toppling

Knocking dominoes down is a fun pastime for a rainy afternoon, but setting them all up can be a drag. Thankfully, [Lewis] of [DIY Machines] has built a helpful machine to do the job for you, letting you focus on the fun part instead!

The machine is run by an Arduino Uno, that can be pre-programmed with a layout or controlled over Bluetooth in real time. It uses a geared-down DC motor to drive around a smooth surface, with a servo for steering. A second servo is used to turn a carousel loaded with up to 130 dominoes, allowing the machine to lay long runs without needing a refill. It’s designed to be easy to change so multiple carousels can be printed to quickly run courses of extended lengths.

The build is a great example of a machine capable of doing a tricky task with ease, thanks to 3D printing and smart design. We’re particularly impressed with the simple domino transport mechanism integrated into the drive system without requiring extra motors or servos. It’s not the first domino layer we’ve seen, either. Video after the break.

Continue reading “Domino Layer Lets You Focus On Toppling”

Domino Clock Tells The Time In Style

It seems there are as many ways to display the time as there are ways to measure it in the first place. [Kothe] saw a fancy designer domino clock, and wanted a piece of the action without the high price tag. Thus, the natural solution was to go the DIY route.

An Arduino Nano is the heart of the build, paired with a DS1307 RTC for accurate timekeeping. The case of the clock consists of a 3D printed housing, fitted with layers of lasercut acrylic. Behind this, a smattering of WS2812B addressable LEDs are fitted, which shine through the translucent grey plastic of the front panel. This enables each LED to light up a dot of the domino, while remaining hidden when switched off. Reading the time is as simple as counting the dots on the dominoes. The first domino represents hours, from 1 to 12, while the second and third dominoes represent the minutes.

As a timepiece, the domino clock serves well as a stylish decor piece, and could also be a fun way to teach kids about electronics and telling the time. Makers do love a good timepiece, and our clock tag is always overflowing with fresh hacks on a regular basis. If you’ve got your own fancy build coming together at home, you know who to call!

Learning Logic Gates With Dominos

Even though most of us know logic gates like the back of our hands, we just found this awesome explanation video you can use to teach kids in a very fun way — Using nothing but dominoes.

Produced by [Numberphile], our host sets up various “circuits” using dominoes to explain all the various logic gates. Some of the patterns are a bit tricky to setup since you actually have to set up timing based on the spacing of the dominoes — makes us wonder how many bloopers there were!

But don’t take our word for it, it’s well worth a watch after the break.

Continue reading “Learning Logic Gates With Dominos”