Modular Puzzle Idea

Hi! I have this idea that I need some help fleshing out to understand if it is technically feasible.

I have a wooden geometric puzzle that has multiple possible solutions. I would like to build a circuit using this puzzle that can understand which pieces are connected to each other and potentially in what order they are connected. And then, depending on how they are connected, a message is sent out (i.e. 1-4-3-2-5) to some piece of software to trigger an output based on the sequencing of these numbers.

I have not gotten far with understanding this idea from a technical perspective, but for some reason I have an inclination that conductive paint can be useful in accomplishing it.

Hopefully this is organized in a way that makes the idea understandable. Again, I am in the very early stages of this, so apologies if the idea is not well enunciated! Thanks!

Post a picture of this puzzle and a ruler for scale, please.
It will probably be easier to read from the base, which pieces are where.

The simplest solution is a camera and image processing software.

With direct contact to conductive paint or the like - how would you establish contact to all parts in all arrangements and positions?

With wireless contact (magnets, bar code, RFID...) - where would you place the sensors and how do you distinguish neighbour pieces and know of their orientation?

:thinking:

Pieces can be held together by magnets.

There would be an electrical conductive surface on each face.

This surface is internally connected to componentry such as a resistor.

When the total resistance adds up to a certain value, the puzzle message is sent.

That’s all I have.

@DrDiettrich This makes a lot of sense to me. Though I would love this to be as analog as possible and not require additional setup beyond whatever wiring is necessary between the puzzle (and its internal circuitry) and the Arduino. This is a great alternative though and I am confident in my ability to use this as a solution if I am unable to find another

@LarryD, interesting suggestion, I will look into this, thanks!

Just toying around: Imagine, for simplicity's sake, a 2X2 grid.  Residing in each grid square is circuitry to detect eight possible binary states - three digital signals.  On the underside of each tile are something that can stimulate, or not, the three sensors.  In this way you can produce eight possible 3-bit binary numbers.

By reading the states of the sensors in each grid you can determine in code which tile - or no tile - resides in which grid square.  I envision this could be done with something as simple as a PISO shift register.

Doing it this way would eliminate the need for the tiles to interconnect with each other in some way to determine order.

The grid squares would probably need to be physically keyed somehow to insure the tiles are always oriented such that the sensors can read the bottom of the tiles.