Careful study of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology is yielding insights into the insect's highly efficient digging techniques that could translate into big improvements in human and robotic tunneling, according to this article. "Their environment allows the ants to make missteps and not suffer for them. These ants can teach us some remarkably effective tricks for maneuvering in subterranean environments," says physics professor Daniel Goldman.

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