Round Binary Marble Counter

Sketch 1
Sketch 2


For the second toy concept, a binary marble track.

The principle that this toy is based on is just a two-state ticker.  The two states represent a binary bit.  One action, a marble rolling into the intake, will toggle the ticker between its two states.  If there’s a marble in the ticker, that’s an active bit.  When a new marble rolls in, the ticker drops the marble it’s holding, and the new marble moves out to the next bit.

The toy will be a big column.  Kids will put marbles into any place in the top, press the release button, and then the tickers will go through their process to calculate a number.  At first, the kids will just play around and look at the rolling marbles.  As they work more, they’ll hopefully see a pattern to the process and learn about base 2 counting.


For manufacturing, most of it should be made out of die-cast plastic. Aluminum axles for the tickers will make it a bit more resilient to wear, but most of the parts will be out of the reach of children.  The biggest worry is the throw-ability of a large column.  The construction will have to be pretty sturdy to withstand the abuse of a young child.