# The Mechanical Neural Network(MNN)

The Mechanical Neural Network is a mechanical implementation
of an artifical neural network. To be more specific a Multilayer Perceptron with ReLU activation functions.
It can be adapted to model real valued function or logical function, like the
logical AND, OR, and the exclusive or(XOR). This means that we can adapt the
weights between the neurons of the network such that for a given output the
network produces the correct output. E.g. we can adjust the weight such that
the network models the XOR functions and outputs *true* if and only if one
of the two inputs is *true* and the other *false*.

It is build from wooden levers, which represent the neurons. This levers are linked by strings, corresponding to the connections between the neurons of a MLP. Adjusting the clamps, which connect the strings to the levers, by hand allows to adjust the weights of the network. Thus, the effect of adapting the weights can be intuitively observed.

For more information you can watch the Introduction Video on YouTube:

Or read one one of these papers:

- Promoting the digital transformation of STEM education with the mechanical neural network, a physical model for future-oriented and student-centered AI education
- A. Schaffland, C. Müller, and J. Schöning, 2024, IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON), IEEE, DOI: 10.1109/EDUCON60312.2024.10578714
- Mechanical Neural Network: Making AI comprehensible for everyone
- A. Schaffland and J. Schöning, 2023, IEEE German Education Conference (GeCon), IEEE, DOI: 10.1109/gecon58119.2023.10295144

News about the MNN are presented here.

If you are in Osnabrück you can see one version of the MNN at the special exhibition Künstliche Intelligenz. Die letzte Erfindung der Menschheit? of the Museum Industriekultur Osnabrück.

And here are some more images: