This computer is inspired by kirigami, has no electronic components and will be an infallible solution to computer threats.

In general, in the collective unconscious, the computer is described as a machine full of electronics capable of displaying information, allowing us to play or write, and which, above all, is powered by electricity.

But in a study published on June 26, 2024 in the journal Science advancesResearchers at North Carolina State University have announced a particular invention: a mechanical computer inspired by the art of kirigami, which is programmable, configurable, and capable of storing information in its memory.

The mechanical computer is not new.

We must begin by remembering that the invention of such a machine itself is not the first of its kind in the world. In fact, mechanical computers, or calculating machines, are very old.

If we go by Larousse’s information sheet on computing, the first automatic calculator dates back to 1643 and was invented by the philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal. More than 200 years later, in 1883, Charles Babbage also developed a programmable calculator capable of displaying results on perforated tape. More recently, the Antikythera mechanism, dating back to the 2nd century BC, has been considered the oldest computer in history, and was used to follow the Greek lunar calendar.

So, the mechanical computer is not new. Without it, we might not have had the first computers as we understand them today, the electronic machines, which appeared in the 1950s, and it may take several years before they are used by the general public and become essential in every home, in the same way as television.

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The first electronic computers took into account a principle that calculators could not achieve: storing information (data or programs) in electronic memory so that it would be available at any time. Since then, they have continued to evolve to reach the concentrated technologies we know today.

64GB memory storage

Using the Japanese art of paper folding and cutting, the computer is made up of 64 polymer cubes, each measuring 1 cm3, all interconnected.

It can be used, if configured or processed in a certain way, to store information as well as to erase or find it. All this, without using a hard disk or SSD, as we remind you, there are no electronic components to report in this device as evidenced by the researchers' video posted on YouTube.

Just like a regular electronic computer, this mechanical computer works using binary code to perform its calculations. Each cube represents a 1 or 0 depending on its position (high or low). In short, according to the specialized site Ionus“,”Binary code represents information using only two different states (true/false, light/dark, on/off…).

So, depending on the position of some cubes, if they are pushed up or down, the entire computer is reconfigured and performs a very specific task.

But the researchers see much further with this device. In fact, by their own admission, their mechanical computer can perform more complex calculations by making it possible to switch from a binary code (with two states: 0 and 1) to a code capable of combining 5 states (0, 1, 2, 3 and 4).

Machine immune to attacks

The kirigami mechanical computer is indeed very complex. As Yanbin Li, the lead author of the study, explains in the comments he provided: Tom's DevicesUsing a binary framework – where cubes are either up or down – the simple superstructure of 9 functional units has over 362,000 possible configurations.

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But if this complexity can be a disadvantage for ordinary people, the American IT media tells us that this is actually a strength. In fact, it does not use electronic components or electricity, it is immune to classic computer threats but also to electromagnetic threats.

Of course, for those who use computers as a recreational tool, this has almost no use other than performing some complex scientific computational experiments. On the other hand, it is intended for organizations and institutions that want to store important information securely from potential attacks, such as banks or national institutions.

Finally, this means that this mechanical machine is integrated into computers, which is not the case at the moment, as researchers in particular would like, according to the comments made by Life Science, Explore the coding potential of these superstructures by collaborating with other researchers.

So maybe the kirigami computer hasn't shown all it can do yet.

source : Life Science / Tom's Devices

Frank Mccarthy

<p class="sign">"Certified gamer. Problem solver. Internet enthusiast. Twitter scholar. Infuriatingly humble alcohol geek. Tv guru."</p>

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