Marble Adding Machine (February 28th, 2009)

I've seen a few contraptions on the internet that used marbles to do addition in binary. I've been thinking of making my own, but didn't want to just copy something that's already been made. Finally I managed to come up with my own layout and built it in around a day.

The main idea is that rockers are used to either store or reset a marble. When a rocker is rocked to the right, it stores the marble. When another marble drops through and rocks the rocker to the left, it releases the captive marble which then carries over to the next rocker. I've got five rockers, so I can add up to 31 before the machine will clear itself. I originally wanted a sixth rocker to allow me to add up to 63, but it cracked and I didn't feel like making another.

Marble Adding Machine
Twenty-two. If I add a 4, the 4 in storage will carry
over to the 8 spot giving me 16+8+2 which is 26.

It's not as good as a lot of the other adding machines I've seen, but I didn't put much effort into it. It's made from scrap material laying around my shop, and all the measurements are arbitrary. I just built it as I went along and I made no plans. It's not that useful anyway, but it was fun to mess around with.

I looked at Matthias Wandel's Adding Machine and the LEGO DigiComp II I saw on Youtube a lot for inspiration. There's a lot I could do to improve it, but I really can't be bothered.