Robot Ants Blaze Trails with Pheromones of Light
Insects are masters of the swarm. Bugs like bees and termites and ants manage to do all sorts of complicated and productive things, despite the fact that on an individual level, each insect is really not that smart. The manifestation of complex behaviors from simple systems is appealing to roboticists who otherwise have to try to figure out all kinds of complicated localization and navigation tricks all by themselves. Researchers from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, in Newark, and at the Research Centre on Animal Cognition, in Toulouse, France, are using swarms of ant-like robots to efficiently navigate networks without any sort of cleverness at all.