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IPFS News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Powerless Computing: How smart rubber can revolutionize Mechanical tasks

• arclein

In the absence of electronic computational tasks, our daily lives would be drastically different. Everyday devices like elevators, vending machines, turnstiles, washing machines, and traffic lights rely on simple electronic computing to switch states. But what if these devices could operate without a power supply? A research team led by Martin van Hecke from Leiden University and AMOLF has demonstrated how smart rubber structures can carry out these computational tasks. "We now know how to design simple materials so they can process information," van Hecke stated. Their study, published on May 20 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showcases a groundbreaking approach to computation using mechanical systems. Traditionally, electronic devices perform calculations with digital bits and complex circuits. However, the researchers have found an innovative way to compute using slender rubber elements as mechanical bits, assembling them into a "metamaterial." The