A Computer Constructed From a Consortium of Live Crabs
Popular Science - almost 5 years
Soldier Crabs on the March Peter Ellis via Wikimedia
If biomimicry is the instance of technology emulating nature, then this must be something like the opposite: researchers at Kobe University have built a computer out of crabs. Placed within a geometrically constrained environment, swarms of soldier crabs can be effectively used to emulate logic gates. In other words, researchers have replicated the fundamental workings of a computer--with crabs.
The crabs in question, soldier crabs, live in large groups in lagoon environments (not to be confused with Shanghai hairy crabs, which live in a vending machine). When they move they swarm, with no real discernible leader. Crabs near the edges of the group exhibit serious leadership qualities, keeping the group together and moving in a direction as a cohesive body. Crabs in the interior of the group go with the flow, following their neighbors who are following their neighbors who are following the leaders at the edges.
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