After Hours

Lego Turing Machine: The building blocks of computing in play

The Lego machine is based on the theoretical device set out by Turing in his paper.

Turing described the hypothetical machine as being able to move backwards or forwards over a strip of infinite tape, which is divided into cells. The machine could read, write or erase symbols inside each cell.

The machine would be controlled by a series of rules that tell it whether to move the tape, how to manipulate a cell's contents and which rule to jump to next.

In the Lego Turing Machine each cell on the building-block tape, seen above, is made of a black switch, which can be switched on to represent a symbol or turned off to represent a blank cell.

Photo: Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica

By Nick Heath

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.