Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen have developed an entirely new principle for information processing. The complex network computer now stands as an alternative to the other possibilities in data processing - such as the conventional computer or the quantum computer. The fundamental requirement is a system, for instance a laser, with oscillating elements that can interact with one another. The researchers were able to demonstrate that the characteristic dynamics of such a system can be cleverly harnessed to perform the full range of logical operations. The complex network computer can even perform some tasks, such as the coarse sorting of numbers, considerably faster than conventional computers. Furthermore, the researchers have managed to take a first step in programming a robot according to the new principle.