PhyBox: A Programmable Interface for Physarum polycephalum-based Memristors
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Biological computing prototypes don't often leave the con nes of research laboratories, which limits their immersion into real-world applications and hinders our ability to fully understand their potential. Such a situation is usually a result of the volatile nature of the substrate and the resources and expertise required to implement the prototype. In this paper, we introduce the `PhyBox': a programmable interface for harnessing biological memristors. PhyBox is a step towards providing non-experts, D.I.Y. prototyping enthusiasts, and engineers with an accessible platform for experimenting with biological processing using memristors. This paper serves as precursor to making such a system publicly available. The system builds on our previous work into developing convenient methods of harnessing the myxomycete Physarum polycephalum as a memristive component. Over the past decade, this organism has proven to be an accessible addition to the eld of Unconventional Computing. PhyBox utilises a Raspberry Pi and a selection of inexpensive breakout boards to create a standalone system that is cased in a 3D printed box to provide robust portability. Within the paper, we provide details on the device's hardware, software, and testing. We also demonstrate the deployment of the system in a creative musical application.
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