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Electromechanical Solitaire

Computerized, but with real cards
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Using technology from automatic card shufflers, copy machine sheet feeders, ATM machines, mail sorters and other high speed and precision paper handling equipment, electromechanical solitaire is imminently possible.

The tableau, deck, foundations, etc. are set in to troughs or indentations in a playing board or table. This arrangement allows tiny cameras to be above the surface of the cards without being terribly obvious or obtrusive. The cameras feed the signal to a computer running machine vision software so that the actual values and suits of the cards can be known by the computer.

An automatic card shuffler plays an obvious role. Cards are picked up from the top of the stack and fed to "dealer" mechanisms below the surface of the table. These mechanisms then distribute, orient stack and fan the cards in to the appropriate number of stacks and then feeds the fanned groupings up through slots in to the appropriate stacks in the tableau (possibly trapping the cards between a set of belts, top one transparent, to maintain spacing and aid in overall control of the cards)

The entire playing area is under a transparent plastic cover with as little clearance as possible between it and the cards. The upper surface of the plastic cover employs touch sensitive technology as found in touch screen monitors, PDA's, Tablet PC's and the like. The touch sensitive interface allows tapping/clicking, dragging, double-clicking to indicate moves as with a purely computerized version of solitaire. The sophisticated paper handling mechanisms do all the work of manipulating the cards according to the player's commands.

Since the cameras allow the computer to know which cards are which, a common computer solitaire engine could be adapted to control the mechanics while also enforcing the rules. Tap the deck to turn over the next one or three cards. Tap a card (the plastic above it anyway) then tap the destination to play a card. Etc, etc.

To add to the fun, whirry-clanky noises would likely accompany each move.

half, Sep 11 2003

Solitaire Terminology http://www.wikipedi...litaire_terminology
[half, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

[link]






       This is a good idea, it would make a huge advance in robotics as it would not be based on the human hand and arm but on a shape of machinery that most efficiently completes the task.   

       I think trying to make robots that look and act like humans is very silly. You can make robots any shape you want, why make them ape like?   

       We need to advance in the right direction other than robots which evoke human interest. Functional robots would be an incentive. In car factories they don't use robots that look like robots from cartoons that are lever like with a white glove on the end. That is just silly and uneconomical.   

       poo head robot builders
0_owaffleo_0, Sep 11 2003
  

       // why make them ape like //   

       So that when they take over the world and enslave mankind we can say cool stuff like, "Get your stinking hands off me you damn dirty ape!"
DeathNinja, Sep 11 2003
  

       Instead of squeezing the cards through slots near the table; why not have a deft but artificial wrist action flicking the cards to the table from six feet away? Almost as it it were a flat green baize bowler hat.
Seagull, Sep 11 2003
  

       Complicated and pointless. +
grip, Sep 11 2003
  

       "Nagging" mode can be set to "quick" or "instantaneous". E.g. you pause for 1/5 millisecond and the machine says "Why don't you put the red 8 on the black 9?"
phundug, Sep 11 2003
  

       I voted for it just because I'm too lazy to read it. +
k_sra, Sep 11 2003
  

       "You can make robots any shape you want, why make them ape like?"   

       Task dependednt but mostly so that you can have them stand in for a human and use equipment and devices designed for humans.
bristolz, Sep 11 2003
  
      
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