Home > Observations, Software > Marble Run and Software Automation

Marble Run and Software Automation

For someone that work building software I find it hard explaining my job to my five years old son. Maybe if I worked for Electronics Arts things could have been a little simpler but since I don’t develop computer games I need to find another way  for him to understand automation through software.

Lately this way present itself in the form of a new toy we bought him for Valentine day: the MarbleRun with the the automatic elevator. What that is cool about this version is that you can really close a loop.

He called me today to show a new structure that he came up with. His mommy and I stood very proud watching his latest creation and how marbles go from one side through multiple passages and tubes all the way down to the elevator and then up to start all over again.

Then a thought crossed my mind. This is exactly what that I’m doing at work. Building something that eliminate human intervention – closing loops.

I shared this thought with my son.I don’t know how much he understood from it though. Any way, no matter what I say so far, after every visit in my office he still thinks that all I do is playing the computer:)

I had one more observation after watching few cycles of marbles looping through his system. Once in a while a marble fell off, few marbles clogged a passage or the elevator got stuck. In every case he had to get it working again. Well, I guess that we still need humans after all. 

Maybe like the fact that there is no perfect circle in nature there is no perfect automation loop either.

Honestly, this is a great game and not just for the little ones…

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Categories: Observations, Software
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