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Students create cardboard computer components

These cardboard contraptions include a working NAND gate and a communications network. Just don't leave them out in the rain

Plenty of powerful tablets and smartphones have burst onto the scene at Mobile World Congress, but students at the school of art and design in Offenbach Germany have dialled things back a bit with this collection of cardboard contraptions. Created under the tutelage of Niklas Roy, they include students Carolin Liebl and Lisa Hopf’s cardboard NAND gate, which can compare two binary inputs and calculate one binary output.

Other creations at the workshop included a communications network containing four stations and an information distribution knot, and a crank-operated punch card reader.

Stack together a bunch of these cardboard contraptions and you’ll have the core of an honest-to-goodness PC. Though we imagine you’d need to mash up a lot of trees to match the processing power of even the humblest of dumb phones, like the Nokia 105. And they’ll get a bit soggy if you leave them out in the wet. On balance, probably best to stick to the waterproof Sony Xperia Tablet Z, then.

Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to the craft shop for supplies. We’ve got an environmentally friendly Portal gun to make…

[Niklas Roy via DesignBoom]

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