1936 Russian Computer that Ran on Water

Russian computer runs on water

It’s hard to image a world without our iPads, iPhones, Macs, tablets and laptops. In 1936 Russian scientist Vladimir Lukyanov developed a computer that ran on water. It was the world’s first computer which was able to solve equations, and used water-filled tubes to communicate the answers. Taps and plugs could be used to adjust changing variables and aid with calculations. But what was this remarkable machine built to do?

Lukyanov's "water computer" was designed to observe and calculate problems regarding the cracking of concrete. Specifically, it was capable of measuring the relationships between properties of materials, and analyzing this information to provide answers.

This innovative technology was so popular that it was also used to aid research in a number of other fields from Geology to Rocket Engineering!

Russian computer runs on water

Image courtesy of the Polytechnic Museum, Moscow

We love learning about the latest tech at Tech21, but it makes a change to appreciate something incredible from the past! Check out more cool tech on our in-house Blog, explore the world of Impactology or find out more about the technology we use in each of our products.