We might laugh at the crustacean now, wondering how the heck did it fall for a robot, but think about the future when robots cross the Uncanny Valley and become so lifelike, I won’t be surprised to hear of humans and robots (who passed the Turing Test, of course) lobbying for them to get their marriages recognized at federal and state level. I digress – to keep things in perspective, researchers actually waved four sets of Robocrab arms in order to attract the attention of a live female, and one of them was successful enough that she ran towards the set – only to be disappointed, I suppose.
It seems that female fiddler crabs tend to prefer males who can out wave their neighbours, according to researchers at the 13th Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology. How do male crabs attract the attention of their potential mate? They simply wave their large yellow claws as vigorously as possible, and the robotic arm’s success allowed researchers to figure out the size and speed of the waving claw which results in mating success.