Haters will say this video is playing in reverse, but in fact, it’s a clever bit of scientific trickery that causes these dominoes to stand up when nudged. Convention (and gravity) dictates that dominoes must collapse when knocked over, creating a glorious chain reaction that’s fun to watch, but I’d argue that Yuichiro Morimoto’s dominoes are much more awe-inspiring.
Rather amusingly called the NOMIDO (for its unique topsy-turvy reinterpretation of the domino), Morimoto’s toys stand up in a straight line when nudged. Unlike conventional dominoes, they don’t come with the slab-shaped appearance, but rather have a unique triangular side profile with a weighted bottom that helps them hold their vertical orientation with a fair amount of stability.
Designed as a fun fidget toy, the NOMIDO is a clever combination of art and science. The NOMIDO’s unique shape helps it achieve this unique feat, using a combination of geometry as well as a well-positioned center of gravity to create the illusion. Each NOMIDO is made to achieve stability when standing upright. The hollow design features a heavy-set base (along with a slightly protruding edge on one side), which gives it enough kinetic energy when knocked to end up standing upright. Stack multiple of them together and they’ll transfer the energy linearly, creating a chain reaction of dominos jumping up instead of falling down.
There’s beauty in watching the NOMIDOs in action, but Morimoto believes the experience is much more enjoyable when performed on your own. The 3D CAD file for the NOMIDO is available on Morimoto’s website for ¥3,000 (almost $21 USD), and anyone can buy the file and print out their own set of NOMIDOs to tinker and play with!