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Mechanical Computing Systems Using Only Links and Rotary Joints

by   Ralph C. Merkle, et al.

A new paradigm for mechanical computing is demonstrated that requires only two basic parts, links and rotary joints. These basic parts are combined into two main higher level structures, locks and balances, and suffice to create all necessary combinatorial and sequential logic required for a Turing-complete computational system. While working systems have yet to be implemented using this new paradigm, the mechanical simplicity of the systems described may lend themselves better to, e.g., microfabrication, than previous mechanical computing designs. Additionally, simulations indicate that if molecular-scale implementations could be realized, they would be far more energy-efficient than conventional electronic computers.


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