Mechanical Sequential Counting with Liquid Marbles

  • Thomas C. Draper
  • Claire Fullarton
  • Neil Phillips
  • Ben P. J. de Lacy Costello
  • Andrew Adamatzky
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10867)


Here we demonstrate the first working example of a liquid marble-operated sequential binary counting device. We have designed a lightweight gate that can be actuated by the low mass and momentum of a liquid marble. By linking a number of these gates in series, we are able to digitally count up to binary 1111 (upper limit only by our requirements). Using liquid marbles in such a system opens up new avenues of research and design, by way of modifying the coating and/or core of the liquid marbles, and thereby giving extra dimensions for calculation (e.g. a calculation that takes into consideration the progress of a chemical reaction inside a liquid marble). In addition, the new gate design has multiple uses in liquid marble rerouting.


Liquid marbles Unconventional computing Binary counter Logic gate Particle-coated droplets Mechanical computing 



This research was supported by the EPSRC with grant EP/P016677/1 ‘Computing with Liquid Marbles’.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Unconventional Computing LaboratoryUniversity of the West of EnglandBristolUK
  2. 2.Institute of Biosensing Technology, Centre for Research in BiosciencesUniversity of the West of EnglandBristolUK

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