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Science & Technology

Inventing a computer that never crashes

By T.K. Randall
February 19, 2013 · Comment icon 54 comments

Image Credit: LeRoy N. Sanchez
Researchers at University College London have created a computer that can repair and reprogram itself.
Known as a "systemic" computer, the resilient machine is capable of keeping mission-critical systems running by self-repairing whenever there is damage to its systems or its files become corrupted. Unlike a standard computer which sequentially executes one instruction at a time, the systemic computer is divided up in to systems that contain context-sensitive data and that can run simultaneously without reliance on any other running system.

"The pool of systems interact in parallel, and randomly, and the result of a computation simply emerges from those interactions," said UCL computer scientist Peter Bentley. In the future such computers could prove invaluable in robotic systems such as drones or spacecraft that need to reprogram themselves to compensate for damage or other problems experienced on the fly.[!gad]Known as a "systemic" computer, the resilient machine is capable of keeping mission-critical systems running by self-repairing whenever there is damage to its systems or its files become corrupted. Unlike a standard computer which sequentially executes one instruction at a time, the systemic computer is divided up in to systems that contain context-sensitive data and that can run simultaneously without reliance on any other running system.

"The pool of systems interact in parallel, and randomly, and the result of a computation simply emerges from those interactions," said UCL computer scientist Peter Bentley. In the future such computers could prove invaluable in robotic systems such as drones or spacecraft that need to reprogram themselves to compensate for damage or other problems experienced on the fly.
Dubbed a "systemic" computer, the self-repairing machine now operating at University College London (UCL) could keep mission-critical systems working. For instance, it could allow drones to reprogram themselves to cope with combat damage, or help create more realistic models of the human brain.


Source: New Scientist | Comments (54)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #45 Posted by notoverrated 12 years ago
cool i want one, im sick of getting this thing fixed .
Comment icon #46 Posted by Sundew 12 years ago
It can fix itself! Until someone loads Windows........
Comment icon #47 Posted by ancient astronaut 12 years ago
I need this, my computer sucks
Comment icon #48 Posted by Frank Merton 12 years ago
I don't see how the computer manufacturers are going to make much money selling a computer that fixes itself. As it is they design them to get progressively slower and slower and have more and more freezes. It is only third-party software that interferes with their plans at all, and then only partly. Therefore I don't think such a thing will come to market, at least not from a public company.
Comment icon #49 Posted by third_eye 12 years ago
Third eye, the cloud is just a network of servers, or computers. While your device might not need Today's processing power, the machines that hold the information and carry out the tasks would still need a massive amount of processing power. I don't rate the Cloud highly at all. All of your information stored on another computer often in another country with different privacy laws? No thank you. Read up on how many requests Google has had in the US due to the Patriot Act regarding their Cloud storage. You are effectively allowing your data to be accessed by another government. Not only this, b... [More]
Comment icon #50 Posted by JenniKitty 12 years ago
I would do terrible things to get one, the other day my laptop crashed and my entire Sim town is now forever lost, rest in peace Sims
Comment icon #51 Posted by shrooma 12 years ago
the other day my laptop crashed and my entire Sim town is now forever lost . get ready for the virtual zombie apocalypse! :-)
Comment icon #52 Posted by seeder 12 years ago
. get ready for the virtual zombie apocalypse! :-) haha surely the sims can be saved in time? The cmos battery should feed them and all you need is a good mate who can restore stuff?
Comment icon #53 Posted by shrooma 12 years ago
surely the sims can be saved in time? The cmos battery should feed them and all you need is a good mate who can restore stuff? . noooo!! let them turn into zombies! then go online, let the zombies infect everyone elses simworlds, sit back (with beer & pizza), and watch the resulting mayhem and carnage! :-)
Comment icon #54 Posted by shrooma 12 years ago
that'd be a great game to be honest, sims-zombie apocalypse! so if it DOES come about, I hope I can rely on you guys as witnesses when I sue EA games for theft of intellectual property...?


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