Mechanical Logic was an initiative to develop mechanical devices which acted as logic gates for use in education settings. Over the course of about a year and a half, the Mechanical Logic team and I went though a number of gate designs, participated in numerous teaching engagements and competitions, and won a few awards.
For CMU’s Build18 hack week in 2013, we developed very small, LEGO-compatible version of the gates. We won the First Penguin award, named after a term coined by CMU’s professor Randy Pausch, for a project which deviated most significantly from the theme of the electronics- and programming-themed competition.
Later, at CMU’s 2013 Meeting of the Minds, we won an award from the Studio for Creative Inquiry, a studio in CMU’s College of Fine Arts. This award went to projects which meshed disciplines: in our case, the disciplines of electrical engineering, industrial design, and education.
Since late 2012, the Mechanical Logic team has worked with the University of Pittsburgh and CMU to deploy the gates and an associated curriculum at a number of events. We’ve worked with TechNights and ECE Outreach at CMU and Scientists, Mathematicians, And Engineers For Service at Pitt. We’ve also worked on our own to each lessons at Mt. Lebanon High School in Pittsburgh, PA.
Our project blog (which has been inactive as of late) is here.