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Computers Could Be Powered By Swarms Of Crabs Fearing For Their Lives

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 04/15/2012 5:27 pm Updated: 04/15/2012 6:17 pm

Soldier Crab

Have you ever thought, "wow, crabs are really the laziest of crustaceans, someone should really find them something to do"? No? Well fear not, because as New Scientist reports, a Japanese scientist did, and he's found a potential use for them -- operating your computer.

According to the blog, Kobe University's Yukio-Pegio Gunji and colleagues discovered when two swarms of crabs meet, they merge and "continue in a direction that is the sum of their velocities", which could be used to form AND, OR, and NOT logic functions -- the basic logic backbone for computers.

After reportedly trying out the design in theory, the team created real computer logic gates using a swarm of 40 soldier crabs, Mashable reports. The team then tricked the crabs into moving by hovering a shadow over them -- leading them to believe a bird was preying on them. Scary times for the crabs, but hurrah for science!

Forbes contributor Dave Thier, however, brings up a good point:

Sure, the crabs might seem harmless now, but what if they were to turn this newfound power for evil? They could create some kind of crab-based digital monster that combines the cold logic of a computer with the ferocious intensity of a snapping crab. They’re already called soldier crabs, for God’s sake.

Are we doomed?

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