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May 23 2013

Ant studies to aid design of search and rescue robots


A study showing how ants tunnel their way through confined spaces could aid the design of search-and-rescue robots, according to US scientists.

A team from the Georgia Institute of Technology found fire ants can use their antennae as "extra limbs" to catch themselves when they fall, and can build stable tunnels in loose sand.

Researchers used high speed cameras to record in detail this behaviour.

The findings are published in the journal PNAS.

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