Two interlocking pieces with tiny ramps create a small but satisfying marble track. Just lift it a bit and put it back down. When the piece stays level, the marble inside will fall to the next space. Lift it over and over again and the marble will travel all the way through the track. This is the AlgoLoop marble machine by Yosuke Ikeda.
What makes AlgoLoop different from other marble machines is that the movement of the balls in the loop is not determined by chance, but by a logical procedure. As long as you operate the device correctly, the marbles will move with 100% certainty.
This is why this device is called “AlgoLoop” (Algorithm + Loop).
There are three AlgoLoop configurations: One loop, two loops, and four loops. The videos above and below demonstrate all three. Ikeda has also made 3D-printable files available on Thingiverse.
Watch another video demonstration without narration:
The handheld marble machine can be a fun desk toy, a game, or a mathematical teaching tool.
“Seeing how the initial conditions can affect the end result is a great way to learn programming, and there is no greater pleasure than finding beautiful patterns that you’ve worked out yourself.”
There’s also this:
Watch this next: Turing Tumble, a DIY mechanical computer powered by marbles.
Plus, more videos about marbles on TKSST:
• Magnets & Marbles, Kaplamino’s Pitagora-style chain reactions
• Pythagora Equipment Academy: Rube Goldberg mini-mechanism tutorials
• The mysterious isochronous curve – The Curiosity Show
• Pitagora Suitchi (Pythagora Switch) – Marble chain reaction
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