MIT Students Power Supercomputer With Their Feet

Guinness (and maybe Google) impressed

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[ Technology]

You’ve likely heard about crank-powered laptops.  But pedal-powered supercomputers?  The SiCortex SC648 got some brief mentions a couple of months ago, and is back in the news today after MIT students used it to set a world record for human-powered computing.

MIT Students Power Supercomputer With Their Feet

It’s the end to excessive CO2 production and global warming!  Or not, as cyclists are likely to start exhaling heavily and eating more meat (did anyone else see Tuesday’s Boston Legal?).  Widespread human-powered computing might cause the demand for new keyboards might go up, as well, after enough of the old ones get covered with sweat.  Regardless of the environmental impact, though, this was an impressive tech accomplishment.

Ten students pedaled for just 20 minutes, and Chris Mellor reports, "A spokesperson said that the human-powered session produced more computations than took place in the first 3,000 years of civilization.  He also said that more arithmetic calculations were computed than were done on the entire earth up to 1960."

Guinness was on hand to validate the accomplishment’s record-setting nature, and, with any luck, to provide similarly named refreshments.  A handful of MIT students might win some money, too, as they’ve entered Google’s Innovate or Die Pedal-Powered Machine Contest.

MIT Students Power Supercomputer With Their Feet
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