The strange "computer" was made by Danny Hillis and Brian Silverman, code X39.81 at the Computer History Museum.
Computer scientists Danny Hillis and Brian Silverman invented a computer that used each assembled toy and string. The invention is now on display at the Computer History Museum at View Mountain, near the Googleplex.
Daniel Hillis explains his device.
In a letter from Danny Hillis to Gordon Bell on May 21, 1981: "It consists of 10,000 pieces of wood with a few more fishing lines and dumbbells, and is held in place by brass keyhole covers. This machine can play tic-tac-toe (aka checkerboard) with people. The game tree is created by an LISP program running on a PDP-10. The PDP-10 also calculates the connections of 140 ports (9 heads). (Tinkertoy Logic) A three-state logic is used to replace the three possible states (XO-empty). It is simple. Any 6-year-old child can pair with 500 boxes of assembled toys and a PDP-10. "
"I designed it with Brian Silverman in 1978. It was later acquired by the Arkansas tourism and park division and placed in the Mid-America museum. It can run but is easily damaged – the the fishing line always needed to be pulled in. The Mid-America Museum needed a more durable machine so we made a second one in 1980. Although it was less raw and more durable, I actually didn't think It's as impressive as the first machine. "
Video interviewing Daniel Hillis about his bizarre work.
According to Quora