Mario and robotics seem to be going hand-in-hand recently. Earlier this week, we reported on a soft robot that could play the original Super Mario Bros. However, one engineer has gone above and beyond with a dominoes robot designed to create a massive Mario mural.
Created by YouTube engineer Mark Rober, the dominoes robot does in 24-hours what would take an expert team a week. Officially given the moniker of The Dominator, the robot builder is a remarkably complex machine.
How does The Dominator work?
Rober and Co spent the last five years designing their dominoes robot. To achieve the lightning-fast dominoes-laying machine, The Dominator is actually two robots. The cute googly-eyed main robot is The Dominator. However, it's backed up by an unnamed second robot that's essentially just a very smart arm.
This robot arm picks out the dominoes that the main machine needs and places them into a loading bay. Every time the main machine needs more dominoes, it loads into a docking station that sends needed pieces into 3D-printed funnels. The funnels place each individual piece onto a Connect 4 style grid. The grid is then lowered and opened to place the dominoes without breaking form.
To know where dominoes need to be placed, Dom has a pre-programmed route for all 102,000 dominoes. Using a combination of GPS, infrared and floor markers, the robot is able to precisely create a mural out of dominoes.
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The dominoes robot has a Guinness World Record
Rober's goal of creating the dominoes robot was to achieve a Guinness World Record for dominoes. Taking just over 24-hours to lay the massive 102,000 image, the robot is 50-times faster than a human expert. Dom's World Record is restricted to a non-human category. However, the achievement is still an impressive feat.
For more details on the robot, make sure you watch the video above. Furthermore, if you want to get down and dirty with technical information, there's a very detailed document here.