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 Post subject: Four Bit Maze by OSKAR
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:11 am 
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Hi Non-Twisty Puzzles fans,

Four Bit Maze has been a vision of mine for many year. The vision is to have an electronic game that is 100% tactile without any displays or LEDs. Effectively, it should be a mechanical puzzle.

I made my original version of the Four Bit Maze in 2000. Andrea Gilbert and I made a Four Bit Maze as a JAVA applet. Todd Neller made an Arduino Four Bit Maze with LEDs and switches in 2008. Now I have finally a well-working, good-looking prototype.

Four Bit Maze is an electronic mechanical puzzles that is 100% tactile. The object of the puzzle is to move all four sliders from the "0" position to the "1" position. Each challenge has only 16 binary states, and the operation of each challenge is 100% deterministic without any hidden states. Some challenges are easy and playful, whereas others are fiendishly hard.

The basis of this puzzle is an Arduino UNO microcontroller, an Arduino Motor Shield, four motorfaders, and a coding switch to set the challenges.

The Arduino Uno is programmed through USB. The puzzle program is essentially one 16x16 matrix per challenge. The rows are the computer states of the puzzle in binary (0000, 0001, 0010,0011, 0100,... 1111), the columns are the states as pushed by the player and the values in the matrix are the new computer states.

Despite the simple logic, all challenges have a different character. Some are like walking through a 4x4 Karnaugh Diagram maze, some require just puhing one slider up at a time, whereas other require quite involved actions.

Watch the YouTube video.
Buy the puzzle for EUR 435 directly from me.
Read more at the Arduino Forum, Engadget and the Ponoko Blog.
Check out the photos below.

Enjoy!

Oskar
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Last edited by Oskar on Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:24 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Four Bit Maze by OSKAR
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:00 am 
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NICE!!! I wonder how long it is before we see twisty puzzles with USB ports for programming bandaged states or something similiar.

I hope you can get this mass produced. Looks like something which should be quite afordable if it were.

Carl

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 Post subject: Re: Four Bit Maze by OSKAR
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:58 am 
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Very cool! :o I also hope you can find someone to mass-produce this one.

Now, how about a Four Trit Maze? :P


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 Post subject: Re: Four Bit Maze by OSKAR
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:18 am 
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I love the use of those motorised sliders, it makes the game really interesting. Maybe you could add some sounds to make it even better? And being an electronic engineer, I appreciate the hardware and software efforts.

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 Post subject: Re: Four Bit Maze by OSKAR
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:59 am 
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Because of puzzles like this, the design competition should allow circuits and/or electronics
Excellent challenge, but most importantly, a LOT of fun!!!

:)


Pantazis

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 Post subject: Re: Four Bit Maze by OSKAR
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:32 pm 
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This is pure genius Oskar.


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 Post subject: Re: Four Bit Maze by OSKAR
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:43 pm 
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I really didn't understand the description at all but having watched the video I totally get it. Exceedingly nice.

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 Post subject: Re: Four Bit Maze by OSKAR
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:43 pm 
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Faders! Something I got to push everyday during work... :oops: OH it's a great puzzle it is!


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 Post subject: Re: Four Bit Maze by OSKAR
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:47 am 
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Very nice concept...

But it seems a little over-engineered and potentially fragile: why use faders rather than simple buttons or trip switches with lights (given that it's all binary)?

Also, wouldn't it be more engaging to make the logic more transparent, otherwise it's really just a lot of trial and error, rather than strategic problem solving?

Just my immediate thoughts, but not to take anything away from the concept, which I do think is brilliant and has a lot of commercial potential, if you could address these two points above.

Either way, very refreshing, thanks for sharing! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Four Bit Maze by OSKAR
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:58 am 
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Kelvin Stott wrote:
why use faders rather than simple buttons or trip switches with lights (given that it's all binary)?
Kelvin, I believe that you are missing the whole point of this MECHANICAL puzzle. It is indeed much easier to implement it electronically, but much less fun to play.
Kelvin Stott wrote:
wouldn't it be more engaging to make the logic more transparent, otherwise it's really just a lot of trial and error, rather than strategic problem solving?
I believe that you are also missing the concept of a maze. The whole idea is the exploration. People do not use a map to solve a maze. The picture below is the map of challenge no.4. Does that make solving challenge 4 more fun to you?

Oskar
Attachment:
Four Bit Maze - challenge 4.jpg
Four Bit Maze - challenge 4.jpg [ 84.58 KiB | Viewed 8100 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Four Bit Maze by OSKAR
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:00 pm 
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I really like the 100% tactile part. The sound of the motorfaders is kind of like an audio feedback sometimes, from what the video shows. Really cool. I like the little dance that the pieces do when you solve it.

I would like to see somebody make a 100% mechanical version :) Like a mechanical computer, with no electronics. THAT would be an amazing feat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkUd9rYkYnA

^^Like that, but much more complex. Sounds like a good challenge for you Oskar :D How big do you think that would have to me to have all 9 challenges stored mechanically? Huge, no doubt.

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 Post subject: Re: Four Bit Maze by OSKAR
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:06 pm 
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Very cool puzzle. Generally I'm not keen on anything which isn't a twisty puzzle, but this is really cool. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Four Bit Maze by OSKAR
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:50 pm 
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It would be nice to have this puzzle as Whack-a-Mole.

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 Post subject: Re: Four Bit Maze by OSKAR
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:00 pm 
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Buy me a whack a mole and I'll gladly modify it for you! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Four Bit Maze by OSKAR
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:08 pm 
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Oskar wrote:
I believe that you are missing the whole point of this MECHANICAL puzzle...
I believe that you are also missing the concept of a maze. The whole idea is the exploration.
Very true, as I said they were just my immediate thoughts (if one could call them thoughts at all). :)

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 Post subject: Re: Four Bit Maze by OSKAR
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:19 am 
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Fantastic implementation!


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 Post subject: Re: Four Bit Maze by OSKAR
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:57 am 
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Very nice Oskar.

Saw this tonight:

http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/17/four ... -way-up-t/

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