Logic gates made of live crabs


19 Responses to “Logic gates made of live crabs”

  1. Kyle Buchanan says:

    Make one that uses ants and we’re halfway to Hex.

  2. jaytkay says:

    I think the only remaining question is – do they win the Biology Ig Nobel prize or Computer Science?

  3. RJ says:

    So this is the last practical level of Moore’s Law. I thought it would involve lasers.

  4. SedanChair says:

    Robust Soldier Crab Ball Gate

    I bet that sounds super elegant in Japanese

  5. Ian Wood says:

    It’s all fun and crustacean computing until they achieve a critical mass of shelled panic then leap out of the chute and eat your face.

  6. CH says:

    The article linked has the reliability of the AND and OR gates the other way around:
    “While Gunji and co found they could build a decent OR gate using soldier crabs, their AND-gate was much less reliable. ”

    Well, I can see how the OR gate would work better, as the crabs don’t have a choice but take the “correct” gate, so it would just be a matter of if they both continue down that chute (or not) as a “ball”. In an AND gate there is more choices so also more ways where it can go wrong. But… uuh… yeah…. and this was relevant computer science exactly how? To study the behaviour of Soldier Crabs… sure, I can definitely see the value in that. But computer science? Edit: And to be relevant to computer science… how on earth do you build the “NOT” type gates?

    Can I apply for a grant to study if I can make reliable logic gates by placing a bottle of soda and some chips at the end of corridors and make my fellow programmers make a run for it?

    • oasisob1 says:

      Computer chips are very small. Crabs are quite large in comparison, so they can build a giant simulation of a computer chip out of crabs, and observe in real time how computers work. Because until now, computers were like magnets, as far as that goes.

  7. My geek friends and I used to design logic gates out of various things: steam valves, mirrors, marbles, differently weighted liquids, sounds waves, springs, and others things but none of us once came up with the idea to use live animals. I think this is awesome.

  8. Now I’ve seen everything.

  9. Seb says:

    Mmm, I think these logic gates would taste better cooked in salted duck egg.  I hear they make ‘em that way at Lala Chong in KL.

  10. Kimmo says:

    Would this work if you swapped the computer science team for a gaggle of marketeers, the crabs for brainwashed consumers, and the maze with an appropriately-designed shopping mall…?

  11. What, not a single “Hitchhiker’s Guide” reference?

  12. awjt says:

    “Hello, help desk? I can’t get my crab computer to work.”
    “Did you open another shell?”
    “Yes, but it’s cracked.”
    “What about your web crawler?”
    “That’s my spider computer; it’s working fine.”
    “Is it a King Crab platform?”
    “No, that’s my mainframe.  This one’s just a softshell.”

    • DevinC says:

      I was thinking about the ramifications of this technology should it ever supplant regular silicon ships.  “Poor Dave.  He had a stack overflow and was pincered to death.”

  13. Daniel Smith says:

    I’ll bet the grant proposal for this made for good reading. 

  14. Robert Cruickshank says:

    Everyone’s been talking about this “clawed computing”,  thing and I thought they were saying “cloud”.  Now it all makes sense.  

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