The Die Roller1 is a folly project I’ve been working on over the past couple of years to determine whether a given game-playing die or set of dice are fair. It consists of a machine that rolls a die over and over, a camera that takes a photograph of the die after each roll, a computer program that recognizes which die face is in each picture, and some statistical analysis software.
I’m interested in answering some simple questions, like “Are my (or your) favorite Dungeons and Dragons dice reasonably fair?”, as well as some deeper questions like “Which common design features help or hurt dice fairness?” and “What do we mean by ‘fair,’ anyway?”
I’ve enjoyed this project because it combines a lot of great stuff: Electronics, mechanical engineering, computer vision, statistics, user interface design, game theory, and 3D printing. Oh, and fig bars.
I hope to post about more detailed aspects of the project over time, including what I learn about die design. If some aspect of the project interests you, please comment - I’d like to see what purpose this could serve in the wider world.