"The K'NEX calculator stands over 10 feet tall, and can perform 4 bit addition and subtraction operations in about 30 seconds. The slowest part of the operation is the user entering the balls. From there the balls trickle down, computing the result of the operation, and then sending that through a 4 bit decoder, which flips a flag that tells the user the answer. Since it is 4 bit, we can add and subtract numbers from 0 to 15."

Students Matt Donahoe, Jeff DeCew, and Olek Lorenc of Olin College are working on a computer built entirely of K'NEX for their Computer Architecture class. To read more about how this all works you can visit their blog.