Computational Materials: Experimental Platform
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Evolution in materio aim at revealing computational propertiesin materials. A bottom-up approach combining methods and theoriesfrom evolutionary algorithms, complex systems and unconventionalcomputation, is used to explore inherent computationalproperties of alternative computational materials. This master'sthesis build on earlier and ongoing research at NTNU focusingon interfacing materials. Mecobo is a prototype interface platform,including a physical interface, hardware for stimuli/measurementsand software, developed at NTNU.The Mecobo platform is intended to serve as a platform forexperimenting with unconventional materials' behavior in a dynamiccomplex system. This project describes the existing Mecoboplatform, modications to it and the new extension Cellular AutomataCentral Processing Unit (CA CPU). With the new extension,Mecobo is now capable of modelling dynamic complexsystems with a cellular automata and an unconventional material.The Cellular Automata Central Processing Unit extension is aparallel processor with 32 cores, but supports up to and including64 cores, for controlling each material conguration pin. Thecore is implemented as a stack machine optimized for instructionspace. It uses an 8-bit reduced instruction set computing (RISC)instruction set architecture (ISA).The modied Mecobo platform is tested and conrmed towork with several cellular automata rules and a simple modelconsisting of a theoretical material with constant response.