Robot Plays Card Games Press Button – It Deals a Hand (Jan, 1933)

Robot Plays Card Games Press Button – It Deals a Hand

TO PLAY a game of cards with this robot merely press a button. Miniature cards are speedily shuffled and a full hand of five cards flash into view. Each hand is awarded points according to the value of the cards. A pair counts five, three of a kind counts fifteen, a straight represents fifty, and so on up the scale.

The miniature cards are made by pasting, side by side on a sheet of cardboard, fifty ordinary playing cards (a complete deck excepting two deuces). These are taken outdoors and photographed, as large as possible, with a 4″x5″ or post card size camera. Trim the tiny cards from a contact print of the negative.

Ten of the cards are glued to each of five wood wheels measuring 2-1/4″ in diameter and 3/8″ thick. The wheels are weighted with lead slugs and revolve loosely on a length of doweling. Each wheel has ten small brads nailed into it and one brad fixed near the axle to engage a bit of spring brass driven into the doweling.

When the doweling axle turns in a clockwise direction, the wheels are engaged and turn with it. Stopping the axle allows the wheels to continue to turn with their own momentum. When they finally stop, a strip of spring on the baseboard brushes two of the ten brads in order to frame one of the cards of each wheel in its window. Each of the springs has a different tension so that no two wheels rotate with the same speed.

How to Make the Control Button

The control button is another piece of dowel resting in a drilled-out block containing a stiff spring. It should be covered with an inch of thin rubber tubing where it rubs against the dowel axle.

A press of the button spins the axle, giving the card wheels sufficient momentum so they rotate a number of times. Each stops at a different moment.

  1. slim says: November 24, 20087:14 pm

    It seems that in 1934 just about anything with moving parts was a robot.

  2. Torgo says: November 24, 200810:45 pm

    This seems very enigma-esque.

  3. Toronto says: November 24, 200811:59 pm

    In South Africa, traffic lights are called robots.

    I rather like that idea, personally, as I always ignore robots who try to tell me what to do.

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