No less an institution than the BBC is taking an interested in ANU’s Sophie Callander and her robocrab!
Ms Callander and her colleagues used a fully adjustable robotic arm – called Robocrab – to determine what female crabs are looking for in a mate.
Dr Callander set up three robotic arms around a female crab, and sat beneath the unforgiving Australian sun for many hours recording the females’ reactions to different combinations of wave speeds and claw size.
Females approaching from 20cm preferred males with a higher wave rate and larger claws. Intriguingly, this preference increased in strength when the male was flanked by more slowly waving, smaller-clawed crabs.