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From the MAKE Flickr pool

Steve Hoefer shares this photo showing the first iteration of his dice reader project –

Working on a robot that plays dice. Since the “robot” part is easy i started with the dice reader which can read the number of pips on the dice that’s placed face down on it.

Version 1 just uses 4 photo resistors with white LEDs behind them. It only works right about 70% of the time and is incredibly sensitive to ambient light, but it’s pretty good for about $0.99 worth of parts and a first try. V2 will add more, smaller, sensors with greater sensitivity.

Judging from the ongoing conversation on his blog, it sounds like the next version will incorporate IR sensors. Have a closer look at his setup on Flickr.

… and for a larger scale, software-intensive approach to the problem, check out GamesByEmail’s Dice-O-Matic.

Collin Cunningham

Collin Cunningham

Born, drew a lot, made video, made music on 4-track, then computer, more songwriting, met future wife, went to art school for video major, made websites, toured in a band, worked as web media tech, discovered electronics, taught myself electronics, blogged about DIY electronics, made web videos about electronics and made music for them … and I still do!

  • karnuvap

    Sine the opposite faces of a regular die add up to 7 it would be simple to complement the answer so that when it saw 6 spots it reported 7-6 which is the one which is how we normally read them (the upper most face not the one touching the table).

    • Ookseer

      That’s an excellent point. It’s looking like the final design will take the upright die and tip it 90° into a vertically mounted reader.

      I wired up all five 5 IR sensors last night and they work better than I could have hoped. (There are 9 possible pip locations, but you need to read at least 5 of them to be sure of what face you’re looking at.) The IR sensors are immediate, definitive and I don’t even have to mess with any calibration or normalization math, or interference from the ambient light like the photoresistors.

      I’ll be updating the blog soon with more about the setup and the next steps of getting the mechanical parts working.

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