Follow that ant

By Catherine Zandonella in San Francisco ANT-WATCHING could soon become a lot less boring for researchers aiming to unravel their intricate social behaviour. An image-processing system unveiled at a conference on software robots in Montreal last week not only keeps tabs on 100 individual ants at a time, but can also figure out what jobs they do in the colony. Learning more about ant behaviour is not just useful to zoologists. It could help computer programmers derive simple rules to allow swarms of robots to cooperate better, and even help to improve telephone networks (New Scientist, 24 January 1998,
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