Scientists Use Crabs to Make a Computer

Posted on April 17, 2012

Scientists have built a computer using soldier crabs. The swarming behavior of these crabs was used to build AND, OR and NOT logic gates for the computer. The swarms of crabs were used to represent the binary digits 0 and 1. An absence of a swarm of crabs represented 0 and the presence of a swarm of crabs represented 1. New Scientist reports that the OR gate worked flawlessly, but the AND gate was not as reliable.

The scientists used shadows (which the crabs thought were predatory birds coming to eat them) to get the soldier crabs to swarm. Slate says the crabs were let go after the experiment. Take a look:

The research paper, "Robust Soldier Crab Ball Gate," can be found here.

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