A team of scientists has come up with a computer which is powered by crabs.
According to a paper “Robust Soldier Crab Ball Gate” the team from Japan and the UK replaced information carriers with soldier crabs.
The scientists wanted to see if they could adapt a previous model of unconventional computing, based on colliding billiard balls, to work with crabs.
Having been told that a noisy noise annoys an oyster, the researchers noticed that soldier crabs also had a tendency to swarm under noisy external stimulation.
They thought that maybe the swarms of crabs could behave similarly to billiard balls and thus implement basic circuits of collision-based computing.
When two swarms of crabs collide, they merge and continue in a direction that is the sum of their velocities.
The team constructed logic gates that exploit the swarming behaviour of soldier crabs and managed to prove that swarms of soldier crabs can implement logical gates when placed in a geometrically constrained environment.
The soldier crabs were herded through tunnels can form the AND, OR and NOT logic gates.
Phy Org said that the AND gate was more complicated, because that involved the combined swarm heading down one of three paths and it turned out to be the less reliable.
After all the experiments, the crabs were released to their natural habitats and were not lightly steamed and served with tartar sauce.