The Kid Should See This

Turing Tumble, a DIY mechanical computer powered by marbles

The Turing Tumble, this small Pachinko-like puzzle game prototype, is also DIY mechanical computer. Programmer Paul Boswell designed the Turing complete toy to help kids (and adults) learn, see, and feel how computers think and work. It’s named for English mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing

The goal of the game: Solve 51 puzzles by combining pieces in different ways. Via their Kickstarter campaign:

Players add logic by putting 6 different types of parts onto the board: The ramp directs balls in one direction, either to the left or to the right.

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The crossover lets ball paths cross over one another. Balls come in one side and exit on the opposite side.

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The bit adds logic. It stores information by pointing to the right or to the left, like a 1 or 0. It becomes more and more important as the puzzles progress.

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When the computer’s objective is complete, the interceptor is used to stop the computer from releasing any more balls.

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Like the bit, the gear bit stores information by pointing right or left, but when the gear bit is flipped, it also turns other gear bits connected to it by gears.

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With these pieces, “it can count, add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It can create patterns, and it can do some types of logic.”

Related videos: Binary Marble Adding Machine and The Universal Tea Machine, plus more marble machines and more math.

via TechCrunch.

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