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The father of all Lego computers The Lego Turing Machine

The father of all Lego computers The Lego Turing Machine

first_imgThe Turing machine is a tape-based, proto-computer that is capable of working simple algorithms. Known as a kind of “state machine”, it was devised by Alan Turing in the 1930s and is an extremely important part of computer science history. Two men, Jeroen van den Bos and Davy Landman, have built a Lego Turing Machine and shot the video above about their project.A full explanation of the Turing machine is available if you’d like to learn more, but the video explains the basics. The Turing machine works with a tape — which is essentially its program — which is broken down into binary segments. It modern thinking the tape would be populated by 1s and 0s, in Turing’s time it was the same, and in Lego parlance it’s little black rods flipped to one side or the other.The Lego Turing machine uses an optical scanner (the head) which would not have been available to Turing. It, like the rest of the parts used in the machine, works with the LEGO Mindstorms NXT kit.By running through the tape and using a sensor, switch, and basic logic the machine is able to perform simple operations. In this case the very short tape simply calculates the sum of 2 and 2. (Spoiler alert…) At the end of the video the Lego Turing machine correctly identifies the answer as being 4.The machine was built for the “Turings Erfenis” exposition which honors the 100th birthday of Alan Turing, June 23, 2012. The event is organized by the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica in Amsterdam.The (very well done) video was shot with a high-end Panasonic AF101 camcorder and a Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 lenses as well as a number of Nikon AI-s primes lenses including the 35mm f/2.0, 50mm f/1.4, 55mm f/2.8 macro, 85mm f/1.4, and the 105mm f/2.5. The use of that Voightlander lens was made possible by using the Novoflex Nikon to Micro Four-Thirds adapter.More at Lego Turing Machine, via Vimeolast_img read more