Google Play icon

Artificial muscle computer performs as a universal Turing machine

Share
Posted March 28, 2013
An illustration of Wolfram’s “2, 3” Turing machine, the simplest known universal Turing machine that can solve any computable problem. A machine head reads the tape, decides what to do based on the data it sees plus its internal state (1 or 0), and then write the data and moves a step left or right. The researchers here realized this Turing machine using artificial muscles to help perform logic functions and memory functions. Credit: O’Brien and Anderson. ©2013 American Institute of Physics

An illustration of Wolfram’s “2, 3” Turing machine, the simplest known universal Turing machine that can solve any computable problem. A machine head reads the tape, decides what to do based on the data it sees plus its internal state (1 or 0), and then write the data and moves a step left or right. The researchers here realized this Turing machine using artificial muscles to help perform logic functions and memory functions. Credit: O’Brien and Anderson. ©2013 American Institute of Physics

In 1936, Alan Turing showed that all computers are simply manifestations of an underlying logical architecture, no matter what materials they’re made of. Although most of the computer’s we’re familiar with are made of silicon semiconductors, other computers have been made of DNA, light, legos, paper, and many other unconventional materials.

Now in a new study, scientists have built a computer made of artificial muscles that are themselves made of electroactive polymers. The artificial muscle computer is an example of the simplest known universal Turing machine, and as such it is capable of solving any computable problem given sufficient time and memory. By showing that artificial muscles can “think,” the study paves the way for the development of smart, lifelike prostheses and soft robots that can conform to changing environments.

The authors, Benjamin Marc O’Brien and Iain Alexander Anderson at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, have published their study on the artificial muscle computer in a recent issue of Applied Physics Letters.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time a computer has been built out of artificial muscles,” O’Brien told Phys.org. “What makes it exciting is that the technology can be directly and intimately embedded into artificial muscle devices, giving them lifelike reflexes. Even though our computer has hard bits, the technology is fundamentally soft and stretchy, something that traditional methods of computation struggle with.”

Read more at: Phys.org

Featured news from related categories:

Technology Org App
Google Play icon
85,446 science & technology articles

Most Popular Articles

  1. New treatment may reverse celiac disease (October 22, 2019)
  2. "Helical Engine" Proposed by NASA Engineer could Reach 99% the Speed of Light. But could it, really? (October 17, 2019)
  3. New Class of Painkillers Offers all the Benefits of Opioids, Minus the Side Effects and Addictiveness (October 16, 2019)
  4. The World's Energy Storage Powerhouse (November 1, 2019)
  5. Plastic waste may be headed for the microwave (October 18, 2019)

Follow us

Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Tumblr   RSS   Newsletter via Email