Saturday, November 17, 2007

It is all beginning to make sense.

(AP) -- Tiny robots programmed to act like roaches were able to blend into cockroach society, according to researchers studying the collective behavior of insects. Cockroaches tend to self-organize into leaderless groups, seeming to reach consensus on where to rest together.
For example, when provided two similar shelters, most of the group tended to gather under the same one.

Hoping to learn more about this behavior, researchers led by Jose Halloy at the Free University of Brussels, Belgium, designed small robots programmed to act like a cockroach.

The robots didn't look like the insects and at first the roaches fled from them, but after the scientists coated the robots with pheromones that made them smell like roaches the machines were accepted into the group, nesting together with the insects.

Given a choice, roaches generally prefer a darker place and the robots were programmed to do the same.

When given a choice of a darker or lighter shelter, 75 percent of the cockroaches and 85 percent of the robots gathered under the darker one.


Randal Graves said...

That explains their drooling desire for a nuclear confrontation with Iran. Only the wingnuts will survive.

fairlane said...

I think I had one of those in my kitchen yesterday.

Unlike real roaches, the robots have rocket packs, and laser beams.

Dr. Zaius said...

Where can I get me some of these rascally robot roaches? I want to use them to infiltrate RNC headquarters.

Love your picture, BTW.

Jess Wundrun said...

Too late, they already have infiltrated RNC headquarters through Grover Norquist's nefarious Americans For Tax Reform, the group that brought us government so small you could drown it in New Orleans, or something like that.