Life On Earth
Japanese Researchers Build A Computer Out Of Crabs
Researchers from Japan's Kobe University have technically managed to build a computer out of live crabs. It won't play Call of Duty or open Facebook, but what it does is use live soldier crabs to simulate logic gates.
Crabs live in large groups and when they travel to a new habitat, they do so with no apparent leader. Instead, the pack is controlled by the crabs on the sides, who keep it going into a single direction, with the ones on the inside just going with the flow. The crabs on the sides periodically move inside and switch spots with the others. When two packs meet, they merge and head in the direction where the with more velocity was headed.
The Kobe researchers built a series of channels to funnel them through, which act as logic gates. Using a fake crab eating bird shadow, the crabs are set into motion. An OR has been easy to replicate so far and has all the crabs going down a single path. Having them scatter in all 3 directions and recreating an AND gate has so far been been a little more of a challenge.
A computer like this would be pretty useless nowadays, but being able to say you built a computer out of crabs must feel great.
By Denis Ivanov
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