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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P016677/1
Title: Computing with Liquid Marbles
Principal Investigator: Adamatzky, Professor A
Other Investigators:
Costello, Dr B
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Faculty of Environment and Technology
Organisation: University of the West of England
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 June 2017 Ends: 31 May 2020 Value (£): 727,811
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biophysics Fundamentals of Computing
Microsystems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
12 Jan 2017 EPSRC ICT Prioritisation Panel Jan 2017 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
We propose to make computing devices from liquid marbles. A liquid marble (LM) is a liquid droplet coated with hydrophilic powder which enables the LM to be manipulated like a soft solid. The coating prevents the liquid to wet the carrier surface thus LMs transport liquid through large distances without loss of mass and with minimum energy. Coating-liquid pair determines a LM's properties and manipulation schemes. LM can be manipulated mechanically and electromagnetically. Computing schemes proposed are inspired by conservative logic and collision-based computation. A collision-based computation employs mobile compact finite patterns. Information values (e.g. truth values of logical variables) are given by either absence or presence of the localisations or other parameters of the localisations. The localisations travel in space and do computation when they collide with each other. Almost any part of the medium space can be used as a wire. The localisations undergo transformations, they change velocities, form bound states, annihilate or fuse when they interact with other localisations. Information values of localisations are transformed as a result of collision and thus a computation is implemented. We will produce LMs computing devices: cascades of collision-based logical gates, an adder and an arithmetic-logical unit, where data signals are represented by the LMs, and results of computation by either LMs or bi-stable flip-flop elements. The computing devices made with LMs are completely mechanical and easily extendable to chemical or electromechanical in construction and operation, permit the achievement of elementary level instructions in computers with the following benefits: the functioning is self-evident, no specialised knowledge of electronics is required to operate the LMs computer, the prototypes proposed will be simple and durable constructions and inexpensive to manufacture, the principles of operation are clearly observable.
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Organisation Website: http://www.uwe.ac.uk