Stanford researchers led by post-doctoral fellow Nariman Farsad have built a machine that sends text messages using common chemicals.
If you’re building a project, and need to send a signal from one component to another, solutions generally involve wiring them together, or some sort of radio, perhaps Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Farsad, however, has been working on something entirely different. His system uses commonly-available chemicals to turn a liquid, either basic or acidic, in sequence as a binary communication protocol.
But instead of zeros and ones, it sends pulses of acid (vinegar) or base (glass cleaner). The researchers type their desired message in a small computer, which sends a signal to a machine that pumps out the corresponding “bits” of chemicals. The liquids travel through plastic tubes to a small container that reads the solution’s pH. Changes in pH are then transmitted to a computer that deciphers the encoded message.
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