A team of scientists from the Unconventional Computing Laboratory at the University of West England in Bristol has been working on a unique project for the past two decades. They have created functional computers made entirely out of mushrooms. These mushroom computers are not only capable of self-regeneration, but they also consume less energy compared to traditional computers.
The mycelium, a web-like structure found in mushrooms, serves as the primary conductor for these computers. It not only conducts electricity but can also retain memory. While organic speeds cannot be compared to conventional means, the team is working to “decode the language of mushrooms” to further enhance these capabilities.
The mushroom computers have several advantages over traditional computers. For instance, they are less prone to errors due to their self-regeneration capabilities. Additionally, these computers consume significantly less energy than their traditional counterparts. The Unconventional Computing Laboratory has also experimented with circuits made from kombucha and microbe sensors.
The team’s ultimate goal is to revolutionize the way technology is understood by incorporating complex biological systems and dynamics into computational infrastructure. They have named this concept the “Wood Wide Web” and aim to develop more organic computing systems in the future.
The Unconventional Computing Laboratory’s work on mushroom computers is a significant step towards developing eco-friendly technology that is both sustainable and efficient. While major companies are investing in quantum technology, this team is exploring the potential of incorporating living organisms into technology.