Mar 6, 2023

Lab Demos ‘Living’ PC Powered by Mushrooms

Posted by in category: computing

The Unconventional Computing Laboratory (UCL) from the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) has showcased its mushroom motherboard to Popular Science (opens in new tab). As its name conveys, the lab, led by professor Andrew Adamatzk, focuses on eccentric approaches to computing, like wetware, the notion of applying the concepts of hardware and software to living creatures.

Fungi connect to a root network under the ground (sometimes called the “wood wide web”) using their mycelium, very slim hyphae that are the size of a thread. The fungal motherboard utilizes the mycelium as a conductor and a substitute for other electronic components, such as the processor or memory. In a previous study (opens in new tab), Adamatzky demonstrated that mushrooms could communicate with each through electric signals via the mycelium. The mycelium is capable of sending and receiving electrical signals and retaining memory.

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