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Circuit Breaker

Calm your troubled soul by watching this robot arm solve Tower of Hanoi

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Maybe it's been a rough day. Maybe you're frazzled. Maybe you love your job, and everything's going great, but something just feels off. Have you tried watching a robot arm slowly, painstakingly solve Tower of Hanoi?

In case you need a refresher on Hanoi, it's pretty simple (aka I looked on Wikipedia):

The goal is to move the whole stack to another peg.


  1. You can only move one disk at a time.
  2. You can only move the top disk of a stack.
  3. You can't put a disk on a smaller disk.

A robot arm has some extra challenges, like:

  1. It doesn't have eyes.
  2. It was programmed by an intern named Yosef Mirsky, as his first project at the company.
  3. It can't read Wikipedia.

Also, while I know it looks really simple, and perhaps this robot is a tad slow, it's important to remember that the minimum number of moves to solve any Tower of Hanoi puzzle is 2n - 1 (so, in this case, that's 2 to the 7th power, minus 1, so that's 127 moves).

Want to learn more about the recursive algorithm (Yosef Mirsky used a recursive solution to program this arm) for solving Tower of Hanoi? Watch this excellent MIT lecture from 1986:

I know I feel much better now. Hope you are well. Best of wishes,