As technology advances, scientists are able to make weirder and weirder ideas into reality. Case in point: this computer made of crabs.

Researchers at Kobe University took the swarming behavior of soldier crabs and used it to create a logic processing system that might be more efficient than standard computing methods. These kind of unconventional systems have been theorized since the 1980s, but people are just starting to put them into practice.

Basically, how it works — Soldier crabs have an innate behavior that keeps them connected to other crabs. When they’re in the middle of a swarm, they follow their cohorts, but if they’re on the edges they move away from the swarm, helping to lead it in a direction. Using a geometrically constrained environment, these scientists were able to create primitive “logic gates” – the core components of a computer – and make the crabs move through them in a predictable way.

What does this mean for your MacBook? Not a lot, as crab computers are probably never going to be an actual thing. But studying this behavior can help us develop new and more efficient ways to process data further down the line. Without all of the pesky pinching.

You can read the whole study here.

[Via PSFK]