The Shoe Computers


The Eudaemons made use of two separate shoe computers while at the roulette table. The first, shown in Figure 1, used a MOS Technology 6502 microprocessor and was worn by an observer near the roulette wheel. The observer would clock the motion of the wheel and ball using a toe-operated switch.


Shoe Computer Image

Figure 1. The Observer's Shoe Computer

Photo by Steve Mann, MIT Media Lab


A prediction of where the ball would land on the wheel would be generated by the observer's shoe computer and immediately transmitted to an accomplice. The accomplice would then feel a unique pattern and frequency of buzzing solenoids in their shoe (telling them which octant of the roulette wheel was most likely to catch the ball) and quickly place bets according to this information.



Roulette Table ImageAccomplice


Figure 2. The Roulette Table


To avoid potential "problems" with casino authorities, the Eudaemons decided that the sole of a shoe was the least conspicuous location for their roulette-beating computer system. This presented some engineering challenges, for the computers had to be able to withstand the weight of the user, function in a warm, moist environment, and have an internal power source capable of lasting a few hours.

Epoxy was used to encase the computer's electronics, thus keeping out moisture and creating a platform strong enough to survive the abuse of being walked upon. A separate section was built to house the batteries (known as the "battery boat") and was designed to be easily disconnected so that fresh batteries could be installed quickly - as in a casino bathroom.

The shoe computers were designed and built by the Eudaemons during the late 1970's in a basement at 707 Riverside Avenue in Santa Cruz, California.

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Last modified 14-Jun-97.