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Cockroach Behavior

SunnySingh's picture
I found an article on Slashdot today about the decision making patterns used by cockroaches. It echoes many of the same ideas in the book I read for my project (Emergence, by Steven Johnson). It's a very short article and it demonstrates how cockroach/ant/etc colonies can function without a centralized authority dictating the behavior of the group.


LauraKasakoff's picture

This article reminded me of the hybrid robotics/cockroach research of Garnet Hertz. He has made a hybrid cockroach controlled robot. A cockroach is put on top ping pong-ish like ball that that tracks the insect's movement and causes the movement of a robot. This feedback loop is interesting because "It's ambiguous whether the system is controlling the insect or whether she's controlling it. It's also ambiguous if the system is intelligent or not. This ambiguity is interesting, however: to think that any one system can bring clarity to an issue seems a tad naive - to produce ambiguity is something that science does while rarely admitting it." It seems that looking at cockroach behavior under an emergent lens might have more applications (I'm afraid to use the word solutions now)!