Computational matter is a research area concerned with self organising material comprised of large numbers of processing units, able to communicate with each other and react to their environment. FoAM are running a series of DIY computational matter experiments, including Spork Factory, which approaches the problem from two directions:
- How can we run (self modifying, evolvable) software on physically small and cheap hardware?
- Can we simulate large numbers of processors in order to prototype software without needing to build them?
Both approaches are unified by the same programming language, based on Betablocker's simple instruction set, and evolves programs that run on Atmel processors – the same make as found on the Arduino, in this case the ATtiny85 – a £2.50 8 pin 8bit CPU. Read more about our research on Amorphous Computing and Evolvable Hardware.