Remember that 800 ants on the International Space Station?




You’ll laugh, but it’s an experiment that could lead to the creation of adaptive robots . Last week, 800 small black ants (Tetramorium caespitum) arrived on the ISS. Experiment designed Stanford biologist Deborah Gordon, should determine how and why the ants will adapt to this environment Revenant. Gordon is particularly interested in how innate behavioral algorithms will regulate the behavior of the group in an environment with minimal gravity.

Initially, ants were divided into eight sections, each of which is a hundred. These barriers have been removed, allowing the ants to move from high-density areas to areas with low density. Astronauts watching how ants move in search of food. Usually, when the density is high ants, each ant searches a small circular arena “random walk.” But when the low density of ants, they go in a straight line, which allows them to cover more distance.

Analyzing the behavior of ants and how they adapt, scientists hope that these will create a flexible robots that will be able to feed themselves or to search for people in the building who are deemed too dangerous for humans. A microgravity experiment is carried out and then, so that researchers can learn how to “interference” (in this case – the absence of gravity) can be overcome by ants (in this case the absence of gravity prevents ants evaluate the density and interact).

“We can develop a way of organizing the robots in a burning building or a reaction to the telephone network interference, but the ants honed algorithms for this for 150 million years, “- said Gordon at Stanford statement. – “Decisions ants can help us develop a network system to solve these problems.”

NASA says that the ants will live on the space station until the end of his days, and that the astronauts are not afraid of infection: a tour were sent only sterile worker ants.
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Tags: Animals , ISS , Robotics .

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