Fire ants' collective behavior provides lessons in engineering

11/27/2013 | Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model)

Fire ants are proving instructive for researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, with the insects' collective behavior showing how tiny organisms can combine to build larger-scale living structures, such as bridges and rafts. The ants' behavior -- sometimes resembling a solid, at other times a liquid -- may point the way to future self-healing structures and new approaches to robots.

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