teaching machines

Avisual Maze

Around the same time that I discovered 3D printers, I ran across this compendium of maze algorithms by Jamis Buck. Just as our stomachs unite the various dishes of a meal into a puddle of nutrients, so my brain united these two ideas into a puddle of … plastic. I had long wondered how a non-seeing person would navigate a maze, and I figured I could use a 3D printer to fabricate a maze where vision offered no advantage—that is, a maze with walls, floor, and ceiling, with you on the outside.

So, I wrote some code using Buck’s recursive backtracking algorithm, converted the maze into a triangular mesh, and printed this little thing on a MakerBot Replicator 2X:

This all happened back in 2014. I never got around to documenting it. Now that the world is stopped, I’ve been feeling nostalgic.

My conclusion was that gouging out someone’s eyes and putting them in a maze would be up there on the torture spectrum. To solve this, I usually cheat by holding the maze up to the light so I can see where the ball is.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *