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Japanese researchers create a crab-based computer

This is the platonic ideal of an entry in my Interesting Esoterica collection: two scientists from Kobe University and one from UWE’s excellently-named International Center of Unconventional Computing have written a paper, Robust Soldier Crab Ball Gate, claiming that swarms of soldier crabs Mictyris guinotae can be persuaded to act as logic gates, from which a universal computer could be built. The paper first describes how they modelled swarms of crabs, then how the logic gates are implemented, and ends with data from an experiment with real soldier crabs. The AND gate worked about two thirds of the time, which isn’t bad.

It looks like this paper is a follow-up to the earlier work, Slime mould logical gates: exploring ballistic approach, which did basically the same thing on a smaller scale. I can only think that the next step must be to use humans.

I’ve given a talk about other unlikely computing machines: I can’t believe it’s a universal computer!

(via Slashdot)

(will not be published)

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