This Wordle-Solving 3D Printer Doesn’t Complain About the New York Times Making It Harder

This Wordle-Solving 3D Printer Doesn’t Complain About the New York Times Making It Harder

If your Wordle streak isn’t as share-worthy as it was before the New York Times bought out Josh Wardle’s creation, just do what Chris Greening did and transform a 3D printer into a simple robot whose only task is to solve the daily Wordle puzzle using some added smarts and access to the entire dictionary.

It’s certainly not a bad thing for someone who created something that brings joy to millions of people every morning to make some money from their creation, but devoted Wordle fans were sad to see the game snatched up by the New York Times, which didn’t waste much time pairing the browser-based puzzle with ad trackers. But the Times acquisition brought something else with it: the perception that Wordle suddenly got harder, even if that was one change the new owners didn’t make. If you don’t feel easy about cheating, maybe your conscience will be ok with letting a robot do the solving on your behalf.

Building a robot from scratch is no easy task, but when all you need is a robot to press on a smartphone touchscreen and then capture images of what happens, a 3D printer gets you 95% of the way there already. Greening started with a Creality 3D printer and made some simple upgrades: a touchscreen-friendly stylus in lieu of a filament extruder, a Raspberry Pi Camera to capture images of the screen for positioning and to monitor the game’s feedback, and a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B to serve as the bot’s brains and controller.

The robot (attempts) to solve Wordle the same way human players do. It starts with a random word and then uses image recognition to interpret Worldle’s feedback and which letters carry over to the next guess. After each guess is made, the Raspberry Pi searches the dictionary for possible five-letter words that can be spelled using the correctly guessed letters, and it goes from there until a solution is potentially found.

It’s not the most strategic approach to the game, and it doesn’t 100% guarantee success, but with some tweaking to the bot’s strategy and approach, there’s no reason this repurposed 3D printer can’t master Wordle completely, no matter what the New York Times does to it. (OK, fine, a paywall may prove its undoing.)