Never a part of the world to let common sense stand in the way of a good vending machine, China has now invented a machine that, for the equivalent of a couple of dollars, pops out a live crab. The Shanghai hairy crabs, prized for their roe and sweet meat, are stored in the crab-o-mat at a near-freezing temperature, which keeps them alive but in a motionless state of hibernation. If your crab is dead when it comes out of the machine, you get three more crabs for free, guaranteed!
This is an improvement over a Japanese take on the same concept, which required hungry customers to pluck protesting crabs out of an aquarium with robo-claws, to the accompaniment of stirring MIDI polyphony.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.