Online since 2002. Over 3300 puzzles, 2600 worldwide members, and 270,000 messages.

TwistyPuzzles.com Forum

It is currently Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:04 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: The Spider Gear Family
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2003 9:11 am
Location: Marin, CA
This is an idea for a puzzle which I have. Oskar made these renderings. Unfortunately this puzzle combines the concepts behind Spider Gear and Bramboules, two puzzles which I'm quite enamored of but which have gotten very little interest.

Another Spider Gear variant is to make the central ball instead of a cuboctahedron be an icosidodecahedron. That still has six gears surrounding it, and likely is quite similar to the original Spider Gear which, again, hasn't generated any interest.

So I'm putting these ideas out there, just to let people know, because there aren't any current plans to actually make them, and won't be unless somebody explicitly asks.

Attachment:
Spherigear Triangle - sketch - view 1.jpg
Spherigear Triangle - sketch - view 1.jpg [ 115.83 KiB | Viewed 1139 times ]


Attachment:
Spherigear Triangle - sketch - view 2.jpg
Spherigear Triangle - sketch - view 2.jpg [ 98.39 KiB | Viewed 1139 times ]


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Spider Gear Family
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:12 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2003 9:11 am
Location: Marin, CA
Given the deafening silence which this has resulted in, I seem to have produced the pinnacle of my goal of creating a simple puzzle whose motion is incomprehensible even when you're playing with it: A puzzle which nobody is interested in :-P


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Spider Gear Family
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:10 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 12:09 pm
Location: Missouri
Bram wrote:
Given the deafening silence which this has resulted in...
Well I just spotted this thread today. I think these are very interesting puzzles but as I haven't played with any puzzles like these its very hard for me to judge how hard or easy they may be to solve. And I actually consider myself more of a mechanism guy then a solver. From that stand point these puzzles have one small negative to them. To me what grabbed me about the Rubik's Cube when it first came out was the mystery of what held it together... how did it function? That was half the puzzle to me and I personally found that half more interesting then the solving half, though I could solve one in under a minute back in the day. Here the mechanism is all out in the open and it feels like some of that mystery is gone. Granted when one thinks about how this thing moves for a few seconds it quickly becomes apparent what appears simple is anything but simple and I suspect most don't think about it for that long as it is really hard to get there with just a mental picture. As you say its "incomprehensible even when you're playing with it" so imagine trying to "comprehend" it from just these pictures. These could be great puzzles... it is just the intended audience is too unfamiliar with them to comment intelligently and the number of such puzzles is just to small for that audience to gain that familiarity.

At least that is the sense I get from the silence...
Carl

_________________
-
Image

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Spider Gear Family
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:39 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:35 am
I'd like to see this thing in action.

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Spider Gear Family
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:11 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:21 pm
Location: Marin, CA
How exactly does it move? Trying to imagine from the images it looks like it would lock up but I'm sure I'm just missing something.

_________________
Jason Smith posted here as 'io' through 2012.
Visit Jason Smith's PuzzleForge on Shapeways!
Jason Smith's Puzzles - YouTube Channel.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Spider Gear Family
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:12 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 8:50 am
Location: chicago, IL area U.S.A
Yes, some sort of animation would help me a lot. It does look like it would just lock up pretty quickly.

-d


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Spider Gear Family
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:07 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 12:09 pm
Location: Missouri
I've tried to figure out some of the movement in my head. Look at this image:
Attachment:
Spider.png
Spider.png [ 171.82 KiB | Viewed 841 times ]

If I think of the balls as trackballs and I roll the lower left ball in the direction of the yellow arrow I believe gears A and B turn while the third gear stays fixed. The top teeth of gears A and B rotate toward the lower left ball and stop with teeth in positions 1 and 2. While this is going on the other 2 balls I believe rotate in the same direction, rotating about the teeth in the fixed gear.

For the next move we could rotate the lower left gear down. This would fix gear B and if I worked it out correctly the other balls would rotate in the same direction as well.

So based on the moves I see it looks like the 3 balls always stay in sync and the puzzle is to line the colors of the gears up with the balls. Its basically a 4 piece puzzle as the 3 balls count as one piece. Then again I suspect its highly likely I'm missing another type of rotation which would allow the balls to change their relative orientation. I'm just not seeing it at the moment.

Carl

_________________
-
Image

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Spider Gear Family
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 1:45 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:03 pm
wwwmwww wrote:
Its basically a 4 piece puzzle as the 3 balls count as one piece.
You are correct. I forgot to follow Bram's instruction and have one spherigear oriented differently from the other two. See the sketch below.

Oskar
Attachment:
Spherigear Triangle - view 3.jpg
Spherigear Triangle - view 3.jpg [ 100.28 KiB | Viewed 744 times ]

_________________
Oskar's home page, YouTube, Shapeways Shop, Puzzlemaster, and fan club
Image.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Spider Gear Family
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:20 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2003 9:11 am
Location: Marin, CA
Unfortunately making one of the gears go the other way also has a problem - there's no branching factor, it's just a belgian maze.

I think it works better if there are four spheres and they form two equilateral triangles with the shared edge gear missing. I need to work that one out though.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Spider Gear Family
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:55 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:33 am
Location: Belgium
Bram wrote:
it's just a belgian maze.


Hm? never heard that expression before?

_________________
Lucie

http://1002-puzzles.blogspot.be/
For sale : 1more Puzzle - Triangle & 1more Puzzle - Cubylon


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Spider Gear Family
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:45 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:03 pm
mixer wrote:
Bram wrote:
it's just a belgian maze.
Hm? never heard that expression before?
This is the topology of a Belgian Maze:

IN --> = --> OUT

Unlike popular believe, one can actually get lost in a Belgian Maze. If you wander into the maze and you forget what direction you are going, you got lost.
This is a Java implementation of a Belgian Maze.
Mysterians is a mechanical implementation of a Belgian Maze.

De term "Belgian Maze" is a Dutch expression. I do not know how popular the expression is elsewhere, or even in the Netherlands. The terms stands for a maze that has a single path without any branches, loops or dead ends. Like any country in the world, also the Dutch make jokes about their neighboring countries.

The question is how interesting the Spherigear Triangle is as a puzzles, despite being a Belgian maze. Many people got baffled by Mysterians.

Oskar

_________________
Oskar's home page, YouTube, Shapeways Shop, Puzzlemaster, and fan club
Image.


Last edited by Oskar on Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Spider Gear Family
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:23 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:33 am
Location: Belgium
Well yes, I am baffled by Mysterians, it sits in my box with unsolved puzzles. :scrambled:

_________________
Lucie

http://1002-puzzles.blogspot.be/
For sale : 1more Puzzle - Triangle & 1more Puzzle - Cubylon


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Spider Gear Family
PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:05 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2003 9:11 am
Location: Marin, CA
I've now done an analysis of the version of this with four balls in a symmetric rhombus (diamond) configuration, with gears connecting along the edges.

It does, in fact, work as a puzzle, and there are two variants on it. It turns out that despite the differing angles all the balls behave essentially the same. If we label right side up triangles as A and upside down ones as B, and notate the balls's positions by going around clockwise, then there are three moves. All moves can be applied from any starting point, provided that the pattern matches what they apply to.

The first move, which applies to both variants, can change AA to BB and vice versa.

The second move goes between ABA and BAB.

The third move goes between AABB and BBAA. It can be applied in two different ways, so from the AABB state there are two different moves to get to BBAA.

The interesting thing is that the two more sophisticated moves never commingle. If you start with ABAB then the ABA move happens a lot but the AABB position never occurs. Likewise if you start with AAAA then the ABA move never happens but AABB is critically important.

In both cases the second move is critically important, because doing AA by itself mostly just rotates all the balls in tandem.

Unfortunately the AABB move is physically very awkward. One of the edge gears is completely still, so the movement has to go indirectly along a long chain over only one path. Bramboules always does the same thing but along two paths, and that moves awkwardly to begin with. So the clear winner is to start in the ABAB configuration, which should move far better.

The upshot is that switching to four balls in a diamond configuration rescues this as a puzzle and in that configuration the solved state should have two opposite balls and right side up triangles and the other two as upside down triangles.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot] and 10 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

Forum powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group