Making optical logic bricks?

Fun & Games Technology
Making optical logic bricks?
lego_logic_brick.jpg

This Lego Logic Blocks project appears to only be theoretical, however the idea behind it is pretty neat. The goal is to make a set of logic gates that use light as inputs and outputs. The project only talks about building a NAND gate, however it should be pretty easy to build any of the other gates as well. While they probably wouldn’t be practical to use for anything except the simplest circuits, they would be fun toys to play with. I could also see these as being useful for teaching how logic circuits work- you could actually see the state of all of the inputs and outputs. The other cool thing about them is that they could be directly interfaced to things such as optical encoders or switches.

Has anyone attempted to make something like this? Think it would work?

0 thoughts on “Making optical logic bricks?

  1. orn310.myopenid.com says:

    I haven’t tried this… but it would be pretty easy to do with electronics, as demonstrated in Make Volume 4 Page 192
    link: http://www.make-digital.com/make/vol04?pg=194#pg194
    All it would probably involve is embedding a logic gate IC into a lets say 4×4 block for the ANDs ORs and other variants of these gates, and a 2×4 for the NOTs. It would be especially easy if you used the original Lego block wirering design…

    1. Matt Mets says:

      Now, that would be awesome!

    2. EdV56 says:

      which is not too incredibly great but not bad either. I wrote a conference paper:

      “Tic tac toe game using an optically routed gate array”
      http://spie.org/x648.html?product_id=256247

      Lots of good info in here:
      http://www.scribd.com/doc/7015754/Applications-of-Neon-Lamps-and-Discharge-Tubes-Incomplete

      My big discovery was you can pipe the light with clear vinyl cord or tubing so the circuits can be laid out as an array. Then away you can happily make logic circuits from NOR gates. No power down needed and immediate feedback as towhat you are doing.

  2. Kevin Trotman says:

    I have a rejection letter from the Samsonite people from the 1970’s for an electronic LEGO system. Samsonite owned the rights to LEGO at the time. It was a big disappointment for a teenager to get a rejection letter like that for something I was passionate about at the time. Now they’re doing it anyway.

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