My insect project is progressing well, thanks to the input of many of you! (See questionnaire last post).
Here's something that appeared in my inbox this morning. A swarm of robots behaving 'cooperatively'. In many ways it echoes the bee hive/ant nest cooperation and separation of roles that we find so intriguing when watching these creatures. In reality, studies suggest that each insect is probably quite simply 'programmed' to respond - I'm reluctant to use the term 'mindlessly' (because insects can learn) - to a stimulus. For example, in a flock, school or swarm, there is evidence that each creature is only taking notice of about seven others - the ones closest. And the incredible complex behaviour we see - twisting and turning, predator avoidance etc, is actually the result of a relatively small number of cause-and-effect behaviours.
Anyway, I thought this clip was worth sharing. Enjoy.