I'm interested in new ways of computing, particularly connectionist networks. One such way is not to emulate connectionist networks through computeres, but to physically make one.
My new idea is to make the building blocks (nodes) of connectionist networks; small, simply and cheap enabling mass production. Each node requires power for processing and communication transmission, and a way of communicating. These nodes can then be put in a volume and the network is made.
The difficulty of powering a network like this is that this power distribution would get in the way of the communication and would have to be built into each node, so that they can pass the power over to adjacent nodes.
One idea is to cover the node in a conductor, and when the surface touches both a positive and negative ..... it can be powered. This way you can fill a volume with these nodes and only provide provide electrical power to the outer nodes. The outer nodes touching their neighbours and so on, passing the charge.
Communication has to be done through another medium so as not to complicate or interfere with power distribution. The medium which seems best suited is light. With the advances in optics and commincation through optics this method seems the best answer. At its' very simplist, there are LED lights in a sepherical distribution around the node, and also light recieving devices surrounding each node.
Each node is powered by being next to a powered node. It can send and recieve signals from it's neighbours through light.
One drawback in using light is that it will have to be converted at the beginning and end nodes, to electrical signals.