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Scientists And Engineers Have Developed The First Robotic-Termite

Scientists And Engineers Have Developed The First Robotic-Termite

Termites may be hated creatures, but at least they are great at building structures. Termites are likely more sophisticated than you may think. In fact, one study suggests that termites can create a sort of air conditioning system that cools their underground tunnels. Despite their relatively advanced social nature, most people just want to make sure that they are far away from their homes. However, one group of researchers has been using termites for one purpose, and that purpose is to build a termite-robot. Amazingly, these termite-robots behave more like termites than actual robots.

Entomologists and even many engineers have long marveled at the termites ability to create structures that are, relative to the size of a termite, absolutely colossal. Termites often build their nesting structures above ground, and sometimes these structures can become complicated in design. The tallest termite mound on record measured at forty two feet in height. Amazingly, termite accomplishments, such as tall nesting-mounds, are the work of millions of termites. What is most impressive is the fact that these termites are not following a blueprint, nor are they taking orders. Somehow, every termite in a colony, which can be millions, knows what to do in order to work towards creating a nest. Researchers believe that termites can sense what is around them, and they instinctively know what to do.

Now, two prominent researchers have built robots modeled after termites in order to see if the robots could build structures in the same way as termites. The scientists programed the fleet of termite-robots to follow specific rules, but the robot-termites can end up building anything. Even after operating on the same program, the robot-termites built different structures each time. These structures included castles and pyramids. Instead of communicating directly, the robots, share different environments so that other robots can finish the previous robot’s task. This is exactly how termites operate socially while working together to build a nest. This study opens up new possibilities regarding future robot-made structures.

What scientific or practical value does this study have to humanity?