crabs perform logical tasks? Yes, if a few thousand of them get
together, this most ancient species can be technologically cutting edge.
|Blue Soldier Crab
Yukio-Pegio and Yuta Nishiyama of Kobe University
in Japan and Andrew Adamatzky of the Unconventional Computing Centre
at the University of West England have built a computer that uses huge
swarms of blue soldier crabs to take the place of the usual silicon
circuits. It's described in a Braniac post by Josh Rothman
, and in a paper the scientists wrote in the Journal of Complex Systems
When huge numbers of soldier crabs mass and move together in a directed way, they can signal ones and zeros, and the AND, OR and NOT "logic gates" that are the building blocks of computers. It's called collision computing, or billiard ball computing.
When researchers compelled the crabs to run through a maze-like gate,
they responded the same way electrons would. How did they compel the
cabs? They scared them with a shadow that imitates a big predatory bird.
Adamatzky, who wrote a book about collision based computing,
has been exploring slime mold computing. Scientists are increasingly
interested in the ways natural systems maybe used to solve computing
Blue soldier crabs live in warm shallow waters near beaches and mud flats in the Indo-Pacific region and tend to appear at low tide.