Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Mechanical Sudoku Turk

I've come up with an excellent art/tech project just now. The basic concepts are to create a Mechanical Turk aimed at solving sudoku puzzles. A player would input the puzzle via a keypad and switches on the panel of the machine, and pull a lever. The turk would come alive and start banging and clacking and tooting and clunking as it "mechanically solved" the puzzle. The actual brains would be a simple program on an embedded platform hiding inside the console, obscured by the gearing and woodwork. Different solution steps would produce different mechanical events, set to a specific metre. If the puzzle could not be solved, then an error buzzer would fire, and it would go into "tilt" mode. Instructions on the face would indicate how to reset the tilt mode, and claim your fortune. A successful solve would play a short unique sequence of notes and emit the fortune card.

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