While the internet is filled with random generators, there are few things that are as reliably random as rolling a set of dice. I mean sure, computers should be able to accomplish basically the same thing, but the guy who runs GamesByEmail was tired of getting complaints that his random numbers weren’t random enough. So he built a crazy contraption that can roll dice endlessly and record the results. And the whole thing is powered by a Dell Inspiron Mini 9 netbook.

It’s not like you need a whole heck of a lot of processing power to take pictures of dice and detect the numbers. You just need a decent camera, and a computer that can analyze the photos using a special application written in .NET. It probably doesn’t hurt that the Inspiron Mini 9 isn’t an energy hog.

All told, the machine can handle about 200 dice, and each die takes about 13 seconds to make a round trip. I haven’t bothered double checking the math, but the guy who built this contraption says it’s capable of 1.3 million dice rolls per day.

You can find a video of the machine in action after the break.

via Slashdot

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5 replies on “Netbook finds its ultimate purpose as a crazy dice-rolling machine”

  1. I don’t need a lot of power, but I can tell you I certainly don’t need a .NET application to do it, either.

    I’ve made far more reliable, likely more random, far less power hungry entropy collectors than this Windows-based pile.

  2. My question is does he keep the results of this dice rolling machine and have them analyzed by a computer for pattern recognition.

    I bet he would find a pattern emerged that showed his rolls were not random.

    The very way the machine works where the SAME DICE fall the SAME DISTANCE down the SAME RAMP to be picked up by the SAME SCOOPERS imparts factors that possibly non-random.

    He has a precision machine that rolls dice in the same way all the time…he doesn’t see the flaw of that? It is good to see his scooper does not collect a full row of dice each time, but even so he won’t know if it’s random without checking. He should make some variable for how the dice move through the machine at the very least just to be sure.

    1. Also, my wife points out that, for example, the 6-dot sides would not weigh the same as the 1-dot sides. Each dot is usually scooped out. This too would work against randomness.

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