Ivan Miranda’s clock is a grasp class in marble mechanism design
November thirteenth, 2023—
There are a shocking variety of marble-based machines on the market. Marbles work properly in machines as a result of they roll simply, have substantial weight, and are very constant in diameter. Ivan Miranda was in a position to reap the benefits of these traits to construct this superb marble clock.
This venture makes use of a whole bunch of marbles to show the time in numeric digits. To take action, the machine must roll particular marbles down tracks — white marbles for “on pixels” and black marbles for “off pixels.” When the time rolls over to the following minute, the clock releases these marbles again into an enormous hopper the place they await the following cycle.
The machine carries marbles to the highest of the monitor utilizing an elevator mechanism. It picks up a complete row of marbles without delay from the hopper, however their colours are random so far as the machine is aware of. So Miranda programmed an Arduino board to take a look at every marble within the row on the elevator. It makes use of infrared sensors to find out if every marble is black or white. It then triggers solenoids to eject any marbles which might be the fallacious colour.
It’s an inefficient trial-and-error course of, however the machine can repeat that “carry and verify” cycle as many occasions because it must till it sends all the best marbles down the suitable tracks. Miranda has a couple of tweaks to make to extend reliability, however the clock is already a marvel!